Swiss Data Agency Claims No Contact with Facebook Over Libra

Michael LaVere
  • David Marcus told Congress on Tuesday that the FDPIC would oversee data protection and security for libra. 
  • Swiss agency claims to have had no contact with Facebook.

The Swiss agency supposedly responsible for overseeing the data protection of libra reports having no contact with Facebook. 

David Marcus Goes Before Congress

In a hearing held before members of the US Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, Facebook’s David Marcus attempted to quell concerns over libra’s security.

Marcus explained that data and privacy protections for the company’s digital currency would be under the regulation of the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC). 

However, FDPIC claims to have had no contact with Facebook. 

No Word From Facebook

According to a report confirmed by CNBC, the social media platform has yet to reach out to FDPIC, despite Marcus’s testimony to Congress. 

Hugo Wyler, head of communication at FDPIC, told CNBC, 

“We have taken note of the statements made by David Marcus, Chief of Calibra, on our potential role as data protection supervisory authority in the Libra context. Until today we have not been contacted by the promoters of Libra.”

Wyler left the door open for his agency to work with Facebook, but explained they would need more information before proceeding. 

He continued, 

“We expect Facebook or its promoters to provide us with concrete information when the time comes. Only then will we be able to examine the extent to which our legal advisory and supervisory competence is given. In any case, we are following the development of the project in the public debate.”

A spokesperson for Facebook confirmed that they have yet to contact the FDPIC.

Libra Facing Pressure

Since officially announcing the digital currency in June, libra has come under fire from regulators around the world. US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell claimed the digital currency posed “serious concerns” for money laundering and user protection. On Tuesday, Marcus was repeatedly grilled by senators with questions related to data privacy. 

Marcus also told Congress that the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA), would be the main financial regulator for Libra. Unlike the FDPIC, the Swiss regulator has confirmed its partnership with Facebook.

Facebook appears to have kicked a hornet’s nest in the US Congress over issuing its digital currency.

Last week, an unofficial copy of a bill surfaced online with the title “Keep Big Tech out of Finance.” The bill was reportedly drafted by members of the House Financial Services Committee--who will meet with Facebook on Wednesday--with the goal of preventing large platforms from issuing their own currency. 

Wells Fargo Launches Its Own 'Digital Cash', Claims It's Not a Cryptocurrency

Financial services giant Wells Fargo has announced the launch of a settlement service called “Wells Fargo Digital Cash,” which will run on its distributed ledger technology platform.

According to the company’s announcement, Wells Fargo Digital Cash is a service that’ll bring in operational efficiencies as it’ll remove “barriers to real-time financial interactions” across its own network. The Digital Cash will “complete internal book transfer of cross-border payments” and its concept has already successfully been proven.

Lisa Frazier, head of the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo, was quoted as saying:

  • We believe DLT holds promise for a variety of use cases (…) Wells Fargo Digital Cash has the potential to enable Wells Fargo to remove barriers to real-time financial interactions across multiple accounts in multiple marketplaces around the world.

Speaking to The Block a Wells Fargo representative reportedly clartified that Wells Fargo Digital Cash is “not a cryptocurrency” before adding it is “1:1 against a tokenized USD/fiat currency that runs on a distributed ledger rail.”

When asked whether the Digital Cash could be considered a stablecoin, the representative reportedly stressed it’s an “internal settlement service” running on a “distributed ledger rail that supports tokenized fiat currency.”

Wells Fargo’s project is planned for next year and will initially completed transfers n U.S. dollars, although in the future it’s expected to add support for multiple currencies. The settlement service has been compared to JP Morgan Chase’s JPM Coin, a cryptocurrency developed for “instantaneous” transfer of payments between the financial giant’s institutional clients.

JPM Coin is a cryptocurrency pegged to the U.S. dollar at a 1:1 ratio, and is built on JPMorgan’s Quorum blockchain. Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan Chase’s CEO, has hinted the cryptocurrency could one day be used for retail payments.

 

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