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06 December 2019

EURACTIV: Libra maintains 2020 approval target despite concerns

Facebook-sponsored digital currency Libra is determined to get the green light by European regulators next year, despite the numerous concerns raised by EU finance ministers, a senior representative of the project said.

“We share many of the concerns that are being raised,” said Dante Disparte, deputy chair of the Libra project and head of policy. But he added that “the political sentiments towards the project are, in many respects, completely unfounded.”

Disparte was in Brussels this week to meet with EU officials and participate in an event in the European Parliament.

Last June, Facebook announced that it will launch in 2020 a ‘stablecoin’, a digital currency backed by the “best performing independent currencies”, to offer cheap and fast means of payment to users.

But since then, regulators and decision-makers across the world have warned that the project posed serious risks to financial stability and questioned countries’ monetary sovereignty.

Against this backdrop, EU finance ministers agreed on 5 December that “all options should be on the table, including any measures to prevent the creation of unmanageable risks by certain global ‘stablecoins’.

But Disparte confirmed that the association behind Libra is determined to obtain the authorisation next year. “Our plans remain: we’re focused on 2020,” he said. “That may not mean that in every country in the world”, he said, but Europe is certainly part of the goal.

Regulators are still calibrating the opportunities and risks brought by ‘stablecoins’ like Libra, a digital token backed by a basket of sovereign currencies, considered less volatile than previous crypto-currencies.

Full article on EURACTIV


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