United States warns Facebook against cryptocurrency misuse

The companies behind Libra include the giants Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, as well as the Lyft and Uber transport applications.

 

U.S. regulatory authorities warned Facebook against the misuse of the Pound, a cryptocurrency that the social network plans to launch in 2020, said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

 

"The Treasury has great concerns that Libra can be misused, to launder money," for example, he said.
He added that Facebook "has a lot of work to do to convince" the government that it can launch the cryptocurrency, reaching a "very high level before accessing the financial system." "Whether they are banks or not, they are under the same regulatory framework," Mnuchin told reporters at the White House.

 

Facebook revealed last month its plan to launch the "Libra" in early 2020, which would allow millions of people without access to banks to integrate from their smartphones to the financial system.

 

Mnuchin said the Treasury welcomes "responsible innovations" that improve the efficiency of the financial system, but added that "our main goal is to maintain the integrity of the financial system and protect it from abuse."

 

He added that regulators have met with Facebook directors about this point and how the platform can prevent cryptocurrency from being used for criminal activities.

 

Mnuchin's comments reflect concerns expressed by Federal Reserve head Jerome Powell of other countries in the world, as well as legislators, who this week begin a series of hearings in Congress on the Libra Facebook project.

 

David Marcus, who heads the digital wallet and blockchains on Facebook, the technology that is at the base of several cryptocurrencies, will say Tuesday at a congressional hearing that he expects regulators to conduct a thorough review of the Libra project.

 

"The period between now and the launch (of the cryptocurrency) is destined for an open process and subject to supervision and review by regulators," Marcus will say, according to a testimony prepared and advanced by the Senate Financial Committee.

 

"Now we need to do things right. And I want to be clear: Facebook will not offer the digital currency Libra until we have addressed all the concerns of the regulators and received all the approvals."

 

The companies behind Libra include the giants Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, as well as the Lyft and Uber transport applications.

 

Posted in The Republic here

 

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