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October 10, 2019

Bank of England toughens attitude towards Facebook’s Libra project

The Bank of England has gone tough on Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project, saying that it should comply with the highest resilience standards.

The Financial Policy Committee (FPC) of the Bank of England said that Libra should go through necessary monitoring prior to its launch.

At the same time, it stressed that Libra could serve as a “systemically important payment system”.

The regulator said: “The terms of engagement for innovations such as Libra must be adopted in advance of any launch. UK authorities should use their powers accordingly.

“The resilience of the proposed Libra system would rely on the stability of not just the core elements of the Libra Association and Libra Reserve but also the associated critical activities conducted by other firms in the Libra ecosystem such as validators, exchanges or wallet providers.”

Facebook announced the Libra project in June this year, calling Libra a global currency. Several firms including Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Vodafone, eBay, and Uber participated at the time of launch.

However, earlier this month, PayPal backed out from the project without citing any reason for its decision.

FPC also backed alternative solutions, which it opines could make cross-border payments more efficient.

However, it believes in operational and financial resilience across payment chains. Besides, principles include adequate information to monitor payments in order to flag emerging risks to financial stability.


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