The founder and CEO of the popular social media giant Facebook is in the Libra latest news again. As of recently, Zuckerberg is confident about telling the Congress that Libra will not launch anywhere without the US regulators approving it.
All of this came as part of Zuckerberg’s papered remarks which were released on October 22 in advance of the planned hearings before the US House Financial Services Committee. As it stands, the Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is confident about his stablecoin and wants to assuage all of the regulatory concerns over its launch.
“Facebook will not be part of launching the Libra payments system anywhere in the world until US regulators approve,” he said.
However, we can definitely see that this phrasing is not the same as an assurance that Libra will not launch at all. As his remarks in the crypto news show, Zuckerberg is confident about Libra and plans the coin to be pegged mostly to US dollars.
He went on to further leverage China’s plans to release a project similar to Libra in the coming months and stressed that this could interfere with America’s financial and technological leadership in the world.
Zuckerberg is confident about Libra and the Calibra wallet. When speaking about Facebook’s access to Calibra wallet and the users’ financial data, he said that Calibra is a regulated subsidiary of Facebook. This means that there is clear separation between Facebook’s social data and Calibra’s financial data.
“Calibra will not share customers’ account information or financial data with Facebook, except to prevent fraud or criminal activity, when people affirmatively choose to share their data, or when we are legally obligated to do so,” Zuckerberg said.
What’s interesting is his stance on payments processed through Facebook’s subsidiaries. Zuckerberg is confident that Libra is not created to replace sovereign currency but serve as an online payment system only. The CEO of Facebook stressed:
“Payments processed through Facebook’s licensed payments subsidiaries are subject to comprehensive anti-money laundering, counterterrorist financing, and sanctions monitoring that leverage both our automated systems and human review, and we report suspicious payments activity to applicable authorities consistent with our regulatory obligations. We also have policies in place to prevent fraud.”
What’s also worth noting is the fact that Zuckerberg said that Facebook does not sell people’s personal information and does not use and share it with third parties for lending or credit decisions.
“We use information about transactions that happen on our products to improve our services, including advertising. However, we do not use people’s payment account information itself for advertising purposes,” Zuckerberg concluded.
Mastercard Left Libra Over Regulatory And Viability Concerns: CEO
“It went from this altruistic idea into their own wallet. I’m like: ‘this doesn’t sound right,’" Banga told the news.Mastercard left Libra because of reasons which are now emerging. According to Banga, financial inclusion would mean that a government is able to pay citizens in a certain currency which they must be able to understand how to use and must be usable in day-to-day transactions for items such as food.
"If you get paid in Libra [coin] . . . which go into Calibras, which go back into pounds to buy rice, I don’t understand how that works," he said.The cryptocurrency news today also show that a lack of a clear business model for Libra is what raised another red flag for Mastercard. The Libra coin news before showed that Mastercard was not the only one leaving the stablecoin project - firms like Visa and PayPal did the same at the same period.
"When you don’t understand how money gets made, it gets made in ways you don’t like," the CEO of Mastercard said.Once Mastercard left Libra, the company started investigating the potential use of the project. Banga appeared to have concerns when association members would also not firmly commit to the controls of data management including the know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) legislation. Visa, on the other hand, had pulled out because the project had not been able to "satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations" as a spokesperson later confirmed. Out of the 28 founding members of the Libra project, eight have left. The British telecom conglomerate Vodafone was the last leaving in January 2020 when it decided to focus on its own digital payments service. As Mastercard left Libra, the payments giant adopted a very cautious approach to distributed ledger technology.
CEO Of Facebook Talks About Libra Again And How It Is Being Handled
"We are taking multiple approaches on payments where things like what we are doing with payments and WhatsApp or Facebook Pay are overall built on top of traditional payment infrastructure. The longer-term work that we are proposing around Libra is now being handled by the independent Libra foundation."The CEO of Facebook also stated that the firm is working on creating a digital wallet which will work well with Libra - noting that most companies that make payments are national and based in a country without any incentive to make this work all over the globe.
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.
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