Mark Carney keeps an open mind about Libra

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Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England has said Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency payments initiative could be subject to the “highest standards” in global regulation.

His remarks at a central bank meeting in Portugal were reported by the Financial Times, which also revealed that Carney is “keeping an open mind” about the utility of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, admitting that worldwide payments systems are largely unequal at the moment.

Coindesk reports,”Carney added the U.K. central bank would scrutinize Facebook’s crypto payments plan “very closely” and will collaborate with global forces including G7 countries, the Bank of International Settlements, the International Monetary Fund as well as the Financial Stability Board.”

Carney also raised questions on how Facebook would be able to ensure anti-money laundering measures while protecting users’ data privacy. He also admitted that worldwide payments systems are largely unequal at the moment.

Following Facebook’s announcement on Tuesday and the launch of the Libra website, “financial regulators in Europe already voiced concerns over the possibility of Facebook’s Libra becoming a shadow bank and asked for closer scrutiny over the project,” Coindesk reports.

And, in a separate instance, Maxine Waters, a US lawmaker from the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee has even asked Facebook to halt the development of Libra for the time being until hearings can be held.

In a statement, Waters said, “with the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users.”

She added that there is currently no “clear regulatory framework to provide strong protections for investors, consumers and the economy,” when it comes to cryptocurrencies.

Earlier, Sherrod Brown, a Senate Banking Committee member tweeted that Facebook has exploited user data in the past, and cannot be allowed “to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight.”

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