Facebook vows to continue with Libra cryptocurrency plans

Despite setbacks the firm is committed to its launch, whenever that may be

Facebook vows to continue with Libra cryptocurrency plans
Steve Randall

Facebook is shrugging of criticism of its Libra cryptocurrency and pushing ahead with the project.

Regulators and lawmakers have expressed concern about Facebook’s entry into the cryptocurrency market and in recent days a quarter of the members of the Libra Association, Libra’s governing body, stepped away from the project.

They include Visa, Stripe and MasterCard who all received letters from democratic US senators Sherrod Brown and Brian Schatz urging them to think carefully about how they would manage potential risks associated with the crypto currency.

But in an interview with Bloomberg television, Facebook executive David Marcus said that while he respects those businesses and leaders that have pulled out, they expect to add more members to the Libra Association and stated that the project is going to move forward.

“For these types of letters to be circulated for a thing that is an idea -- a project -- and telling people you should not explore innovation,” that is a concern, Marcus told Bloomberg. “The core of our financial system has not evolved much. Consumers all around the world are paying the price for it.”

Facebook announced its entry into the burgeoning cryptocurrency market earlier this year, hailing it as a way to give consumers low-cost payments and money transfer solutions worldwide.

But policymakers are concerned that it may stymie attempts to curb money laundering and undermine central banks’ control over monetary policy.

Zuckerberg to testify

The launch of Libra is far from imminent as Facebook executives and the Libra Association have pledged to wait until US and other regulators are satisfied before launching.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee next week.