Bank Of England Boss Gives Facebook Currency Cautious Welcome


Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor gave Facebook's proposed digital currency ‘Libra’ a cautious welcome in his speech on Thursday. Carney said it could substantially lower costs and increase financial inclusion, but needs regulation. He also announced that non-banks will be able to hold Bank of England accounts, whilst also highlighting climate and sustainability concerns.

Mark Carney has given both a swift and positive reaction to Facebook's plan, which will no doubt please its CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

However, while Carney said he has an open mind, he ‘s not offering an open door just yet.

Regulation within social media is struggling to catch up after its enormous uptake by billions of users, Mr Carney has promised to make sure regulation protects against risks including data privacy and money laundering is ready well in advance.

‘Libra’ is intended to become a currency that can be transferred via social media with its value based on real life currencies rather than the so-called crypto currencies, whose value isn’t linked to existing exchange rates.

Carney said ‘Libra’ could be systemically important - and will be regulated accordingly.

The Libra Association stated it was "committed to fostering a secure network" with anti-money laundering and anti-fraud programmes, and added that the association would not hold personal data.

What is ‘Libra’ exactly?

Libra is a currency created by Facebook that you’ll be able to send inside of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, with it mostly being meant as an intermediary for transferring traditional currencies. Eventually, Facebook hopes that Libra will be accepted as a form of payment, and other financial services will be built on top of its blockchain-based network.

Libra Facebook
NewsTim Byrne