Bar Set High for Libra as Global Regulators Meet in Basel

Neil Dennis

Top officials from global regulators and central banks met with crypto-industry figures in Basel, Switzerland on Monday to discuss issues posed by "stablecoin" initiatives backed by financial institutions and large tech companies.

Hosted by the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), the agenda for the meeting included discussions on the legal challenges around stablecoins, regulatory and policy issues such as anti-money laundering rules, data privacy and financial stability.

The conference was convened by the G7 Working Group on Stablecoins in response to the emergence of cryptocurrency cross-border payment projects backed by large corporate entities, such as Facebook-led Libra and JPMorgan's JPM Coin. Indeed, representatives from the Libra Association, JPM Coin and Fnality International were in attendance to deliver presentations and answer questions about their digital payments projects.

Common Understanding

Agustín Carstens, general manager of the BIS, said:

A key part of assessing new initiatives is to understand the details. When such initiatives cross national borders, it's important for regulators to coordinate and come to a common understanding.

Benoît Cœuré, chair of the G7 working group and head of the BIS Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, said the group would produce a final report on its work - including the events of Monday's meeting - by mid-October. He added:

As a new technology, stablecoins are largely untested, especially on the scale required to run a global payment system. They give rise to a number of serious risks related to public policy priorities. The bar for regulatory approval will be high.

 

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