Libra’s Christian Catalini, the project’s co-creator and head economist of Calibra, explained that the central banks should see the crypto project as an improvement to their cryptocurrencies since Libra can be used to build on top of the central bank digital currencies. Let’s read further in the Libra news.
Catalini pointed out during a FinTech conference in Singapore how the central banks can benefit from Libra. the statement comes at a time when countries around the world are really looking forward to launching their own state-backed digital currencies. Libra’s Christian Catalini stated that Libra could not only co-exist with the new central bank digital currencies launched by the major central banks but it could also help them built on top of the project:
“From the start, it was clear to us that eventually, central banks will be issuing some flavors of central bank digital currency, and we wanted the system to be future-proofed for that. In fact, Libra would have built on those central bank digital currencies.”
During his speech, Catalini pointed out the concerns regarding Libra’s backing and he said that the cryptocurrency reserve represents a complement to the monetary policies so that assets behind it are controlled, managed and generated by central banks. Libra was the first officially introduced back in June and spiked mixed reactions around the world. the project gathered some serious regulatory attention with the legislators across the world battling to take a serious stance on the matter. It is also interesting that the draft document from the European Union implies the creation of the new coins that could compete with Libra or in other words, state-backed cryptocurrencies are starting to get more attention.
Another example comes from China as well since earlier this year it was announced that the central bank will launch a state-backed cryptocurrency that will be dispersed to central major institutions and corporations in the country. The Vice-chairman of the China Center for International Economic exchanges pointed out that their product will be the first market mover. The head of the people’s bank of China digital currency research institute reassured:
“We know the demand from the general public Is to keep anonymity by using paper money and coins […] we will give those people who demand it anonymity in their transactions. But at the same time, we will keep the balance between the “controllable” anonymity and anti-money laundering, Counter-terrorist financing, and also tax issues, online gambling, and any electronic criminal activities.’’
Vodafone Quits The Facebook Crypto Project Libra Association
‘’We have said from the outset that Vodafone’s desire is to make a genuine contribution to extending financial inclusion. We remain fully committed to that goal and feel we can make the most contribution by focusing our efforts on [mobile payments platform] M-Pesa.’’Vodafone’s reason for leaving Facebook’s Libra crypto project opens up more issues for Libra itself. M-Pesa is now a successful mobile money transmission system that is popular in East and Southern Africa while Safaricom recently signed a deal with California-based global remittance provider Ria money. This deal will enable M-Pesa customers to send payments to more than 20 countries across the globe. Apart from Vodafone, some of the early backers such as PayPal and Mastercard have already quit the Facebook Libra Association and both of the platforms pointed to the growing regulatory pushbacks against the project as the reason for the decision to pull out of the partnership.Back in 2019, the US Senators urged the Libra backers such as Visa and Stripe to leave the project. Despite the criticisms against the project, the Libra Association continued to move forward with the proposed digital currency platform and the developers of the crypto project released a second roadmap with a mainnet testing already underway. Libra is still facing a lot of criticism while countries are moving towards creating their own central bank digital currencies and the banks from Canada, England and Switzerland are now forming a CBDC think tank.The coalition says it will exchange many ideas on how to develop sovereign digital currencies for their respective nations since Australia is also experimenting in the digital payment system that will run on the Ethereum blockchain. China seems to be leading the CBDC race since it has accelerated plans after Libra launched its white paper.
Libra Stimulated Us To Take CBDCs Seriously: Japanese Banking Veteran
“The latest decision is not just about sharing information. It’s also an effort to keep something like Libra in check [...] Major central banks need to appeal that they, too, are making efforts to make settlement more efficient with better use of digital technology.”Yamaoka is confident that Libra stimulated the markets and put some pressure on financial institutions to lower the costs of transactions. With this, a lot of fundamental questions about nation states' control over currency issuance were also raised.However, the banking veteran and ex-BOJ official was in the Libra news for saying that central banks may stifle private-sector innovation by using CBDCs to enhance the effectiveness of central bank measures. As he noted:
“In the world of central bankers, the idea of using CBDCs to enhance the effect of monetary policy seems to have subsided somewhat. There are increasing doubts about the effect of negative interest rates as a policy tool. If so, do you want to issue CBDCs for the sake of deploying a policy with questionable effects?”The expert concluded stating that while Libra stimulated us to see CBDCs in a different light, monetary officials need to be sane in wake of the new changes.
“If you want to make monetary policy effective, you need to ensure people keep using the currency you issue,” he concluded.
Australia’s APRA Considers Overlooking Facebook’s Calibra
“The new framework is intended not only to be fit for purpose for the current financial system but also be able to accommodate future developments and technological advances, such as proposals for global stable coin eco-systems that have been subject to significant attention in recent months. Under this proposal, APRA’s role in the framework would be to oversee wallets that are widely used as a means of payment and store of significant value for a reasonable amount of time.”Facebook’s Libra could indeed be a stabelcoin backed by real assets but it is not the only digital payment service that is created by large technological companies. Apple Pay, for example, is another type of digital wallet that has now more mass acceptance while APRA decides whether to support this as well. The report informs that because of apple’s product that is already in works with the existing infrastructure run by banks, it could attract a lot lower level of regulatory scrutiny.In addition, the Reserve Bank of Australia doesn’t really believe that the country will need its own central bank digital currency. As per the recent reports, the institution believes that the Australian people already have well-established and regulated digital payment services so they don’t really need a stabelcoin. With Libra’s continuous regulatory problems before the launch, the question remains whether in any other country they will start adopting Libra as a legal form of payment.
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