Alarmed by Libra, EU to look into issuing public digital currency

Andrew Cummings
November 6, 2019

The social media giant's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg last month opened the door to scaling back plans for Libra if it can not win approval as a new currency for global exchanges.

Fears of the social media giant using Calibra for discriminatory or otherwise unsavory purposes were recently raised by USA legislators during a congressional hearing on Libra joined by Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg.

A specialist committee, which studies the emerging threats for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission had warned that all regulated entities in addition to investors and consumers could be impacted if Libra was not supervised in an effective manner.

A meeting between the watchdogs and Facebook executives in October failed to allay their concerns about Libra.

"The proposed Libra ecosystem also poses many risks and threats, including the proliferation of scams based on Libra via mobile apps" the document read, with ASIC expected to identify more risk and threats once more information is gathered.

Lubin, who is also the founder of ConsenSys, added that he is optimistic over the outlook for stablecoins, noting that we'll see many similar projects going forward with different kinds of price-stable currencies offered.

"Today's big tech companies have too much power - too much power over our economy, our society and our democracy", Sen Warren said.

"I believe we would be forced to leave the association".

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Facebook now has 15 million active users in Australia, with eight million active on Instagram and another five million on WhatsApp. This includes eight million active Instagram users and five million active WhatsApp users.

The Office of the Australian Information Commission, one of the regulators looking into Libra, has suggested the agencies investigate independently.

Facebook announced plans for Libra in June, with the currency to be managed by a coalition of nearly 30 technology companies.

"Every new innovation that has been launched in the last 100 years from films to TV, radio, cars, even bikes, you get tons of pushbacks, you get headlines like the ones we've been seeing around Libra", Weil said.

Facebook says Libra could revolutionise the global payments system, making it easier to send money around the world and helping the 1.7 billion people without proper banking systems to access financial services.

The OAIC is the Australian national regulator for privacy and freedom of information.

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