Pre-Libra, Facebook Met With British Finance Officials

Before it publicly released its plans for Libra, Facebook met with the Finance Ministry, the central bank and regulators in the U.K. about the proposed cryptocurrency, according to Reuters.

The meetings were meant to garner support for Libra before it was announced. However, despite the meetings, Libra has been met with skepticism from regulators around the world who say the proposed digital currency could disrupt the financial status quo, as well as potentially be used for unscrupulous purposes.

Also, Facebook is under investigation by authorities in both the U.S. and Europe over data handling and antitrust issues.

British regulators and the head of the Bank of England both expressed concern about Libra, saying that it needed to be tightly regulated, as well as asking for more information about the proposed digital currency.

Facebook met the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on April 25, as well as officials who are in charge of cryptocurrency policy a day before that, according to the news outlet. On May 14, Facebook met with representatives from the finance ministry, the Bank of England and the FCA.

Facebook, when it announced Libra, said it had met with officials both in the United States and overseas.

“Engaging with regulators, policymakers, and experts is critical to Libra’s success,” a Facebook spokeswoman said. “This was the whole reason that Facebook along with other members of the Libra Association shared our plans early.”

The Libra Association previously said that it was going to try and become licensed in Switzerland, and it’s not known whether Facebook will try to get regulated in the U.K.

Recently, Calibra CEO David Marcus, who’s heading up the Libra project for Facebook, took to social media to say that Libra wasn’t a danger to global financial stability.

On Monday (Sept. 16), Marcus wrote a Twitter thread called “About monetary sovereignty of Nations vs. Libra.”

“Recently there’s been a lot of talk about how Libra could threaten the sovereignty of Nations when it comes to money. I wanted to take the opportunity to debunk that notion,” he said, asserting Libra isn’t going to be a new currency but instead a “better payment network and system running on top of existing currencies,” one that’s meant to bring real value to users worldwide.

Money, he said, will “strictly remain the province of sovereign Nations.”

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