Bank Of England Backs Facebook Cryptocurrency

The BBC reports:

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney gave Facebook’s proposed digital currency Libra a cautious welcome in a major speech on Thursday. He said it could substantially lower costs and increase financial inclusion, but needs regulation.

Mr Carney also announced that non-banks will be able to hold Bank of England accounts. And he highlighted climate and sustainability concerns.

Carney’s swift and positive reaction to Facebook’s plan, unveiled just last week, will no doubt please Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the Libra members. However, while Mr Carney said he has an open mind, he is not offering an open door.

CNBC reports:

Carney said  that the new coin would improve both financial inclusion and lower the costs of cross border payments.

“Libra, if it achieves its ambitions, would be systemically important,” the governor said, but he cautioned that the new coin would have to meet the highest standards of prudential regulation and consumer protection, as well as adhere to anti-money laundering standards.

Last week, G-20 finance ministers agreed that the regulation of cryptocurrencies required a global coordinated effort.

Courthouse News reports:

Carney called Libra a “stablecoin” and said it would be backed by the pound sterling, among other currencies. Carney recently held a meeting with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to discuss Libra. Carney has been pressed to provide more details about their discussions, British media reported.

Facebook hopes to develop the Libra through its worldwide social media platform. It envisions people around the world gaining access to funding through Libra, which is also the astrological sign meaning balance and has as its symbol a pair of scales; it derives from the Latin word for the ancient Roman equivalent for a pound weight.

My initial report on Libra and how it will supposedly work is here.