Switzerland's FINMA Announces Additional Scrutiny of Facebook's Libra



The Libra Association, the non-profit organization behind Facebook-led cryptocurrency project Libra, is looking to get a payment system license from Switzerland’s financial regulator.


The association announced Wednesday that the license under the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) can “empower billions of people.” The association has also submitted a request for a ruling to clarify its regulatory status, per the announcement. 

Facebook-led Libra stablecoin is expected to launch by the end of the next year, according to an executive from the Libra Association, the non-profit behind the stablecoin.

“We are firmly maintaining our launch schedule, between the end of the first half of the year and the end of 2020,” Bertrand Perez, managing director and chief operating officer of the Libra Association, told French news magazine Les Echos in an interview published Thursday.

Perez said the association is “fully aware” of the issues related to money laundering and terrorist financing, and will work with regulators to address them. Regulators and politicians from around the world have expressed their concerns toward Libra. Just yesterday, France’s Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, said Libra threatens the “monetary sovereignty” of governments. Yet, Perez is optimistic that the stablecoin will launch as scheduled as the association will solve “all” problems.

The general director also provided details on the Libra's reserves, saying that it will include the U.S. dollar (USD), euro (EUR), Yen (JPY), pound sterling (GBP) and Singapore dollar (GBP). Notably, China’s currency, yuan (CNY), will not be part of it, said Perez.

Earlier this week, Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner reportedly warned that China may push the Libra Association to include the yuan in the stablecoin. Warner, however, previously asked Facebook to exclude yuan from the basket of assets backing Libra.

Currently based in Switzerland and having an office in the U.S., the association will also expand to other European countries and Asia in the future, according to Perez.

The Libra project was announced about three months ago in mid-June, and the stablecoin aims to serve the unbanked and facilitate low-fee money transfers globally

Thanks.