Asia

Singapore regulator says it sees Libra’s potential but requires more information

June 27, 2019, 6:35AM EDT

Facebook is in talks with another financial regulator over Libra.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has spoken to the firm about its new cryptocurrency project - but there are still serious concerns, Bloomberg reports.

 “The key challenge is to figure out the nature of the beast,” said MAS Managing Director Ravi Menon. “What is it more like and which box we can put it into. At this point we are not sure.”

Menon noted Libra could offer an alternative to existing cross-border payments systems which are “expensive, inefficient, [and] sometimes risky.” However, he also noted there are new initiatives already in the works that address the same issue, and that it remains uncertain whether Libra is “a distinctly superior proposition.”

Ultimately, incomplete information about Libra is fuelling doubts among multiple European central banks and regulators too. France, which is currently presiding over the Group of Seven (G7), is planning to set up a task force to look into Libra from an international level, while the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) said in a report that Facebook's project could harm the banking sector. Meanwhile, in the U.S., a Senate hearing on Libra has been scheduled for mid-July. 

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