Libra, Australia investigates Facebook
Regulation

Libra, Australia investigates Facebook

By Eleonora Spagnolo - 6 Nov 2019

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New troubles for Facebook: Libra and the social network would have ended up under scrutiny in Australia. According to the newspaper “The Australian” and reported by the Italian agency Ansa, the eight major regulatory authorities of the continent have agreed to undertake similar initiatives, within their respective powers, to force Facebook to disseminate more details on the Libra project

These authorities have different tasks, ranging from combating money laundering to protecting consumers and investors. All agree that the social network giant has not given sufficient guarantees on the Libra cryptocurrency. For this reason, they will exercise their prerogative to investigate Facebook

The Australian authorities would have expressed some risks concerning Libra, for example:

  • It could disrupt the financial markets;
  • It could be used to launder dirty money;
  • It can be useful for online scams;
  • It can be used to finance terrorism.

Libra, troubles also in Europe

In Europe as well, Libra continues to lack respect. According to an indiscretion reported by the European information website Euractiv, the European Union would be ready to prevent the development of digital coins, including Libra, at least until all doubts are resolved. 

This choice would be contained in a proposal to be discussed at the next summit of EU economic ministers. The appointment is set for November 8th, when the eurozone ministers will discuss global stablecoins and their risks. According to the latest version of the text, 

“All options should be on the table including the possibility to take measures preventing the development of projects that would create unmanageable or excessive risks”.

The French Minister for the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, will certainly like this hypothesis since already in the past he has heavily attacked cryptocurrencies.  

Libra “like an email”

After Zuckerberg had said that exchanging money via Libra would be as easy as sharing a photo, another comparison on the usefulness of the cryptocurrency came from Kevin Well, vice president of Calibra, the wallet of Libra. 

During the 2019 Web Summit taking place in Lisbon, Well explained how Libra works:

“Take your current favourite digital wallet, whatever it is, maybe it’s PayPal or Venmo or Square Cash or Zelle, or any of the ones that exist around the world, none of them work together. If you use one and I use the other, we can’t actually send each other money, that’s not the way the world should work. The way Libra will work, the way services built on Libra will work, will be much more like email. You and I don’t have to collaborate on which email provider we are going to use before we send each other an email, we don’t have to choose which browser we’re gonna use, tailored to which individual website you’re gonna go to, these things are protocols and, as long as you build to the protocol, everything is interoperable, Libra is the same way. So, we’re building a wallet as Calibra, but anybody else, every person in this audience, the smallest entrepreneur all the way up to the biggest business in the world, can build wallets for Libra and all of them are interoperable. So, I may choose to use the Calibra wallet, you may choose to use a different wallet, and we can send each other money, the same way we can send each other email while using different email providers”.

In his speech Well also reiterated what Mark Zuckerberg and David Marcus had already said: Libra will not be issued until it has the approval of the regulators.

Eleonora Spagnolo
Eleonora Spagnolo

Journalist passionate about the web and the digital world. She graduated with honours in Multimedia Publishing at the University La Sapienza in Rome and completed a master's degree in Web and Social Media Marketing.

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