Cryptocurrency

ECB's Draghi cites 'substantial' concerns about Facebook's Libra plans

Key Points
  • In a press conference Thursday in Frankfurt, Draghi named a laundry list of concerns related to Facebook's plans for the Libra digital currency.
  • Draghi is the latest central banker to weigh in on Libra.
  • "They better first address the concerns," Draghi said.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi waits to address the committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs at the European Parliament in Brussels on January 28, 2019.
Emmanuel Dunand | AFP | Getty Images

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has added his voice to a chorus of policymakers concerned about Facebook's proposed digital currency project Libra.

In a press conference Thursday in Frankfurt, Draghi named a laundry list of concerns related to Libra, including cybersecurity, money laundering, terrorism financing, privacy, monetary policy transmission and financial stability.

"All these concerns are substantial," he said. "They need to be addressed before the regulators can have, can look at this with genuine interest and positive interest."

Draghi is the latest central banker to weigh in on Libra. Earlier this month, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the project raises "serious concerns" that need to be addressed "thoroughly and carefully." Bank of England Governor Mark Carney also said this month Libra must be "rock solid right from the start."

Last week, Facebook's crypto chief David Marcus was grilled by lawmakers in Washington about the company's plans for the project and issues related to privacy and security. Facebook says Libra would provide an avenue to facilitate payments around the world, especially among people without access to traditional banking services. The project was launched in collaboration with 27 other companies and would be overseen by an independent organization called the Libra Association based in Switzerland.

At the G-7 meeting of finance ministers in France last week, Libra was a hot topic among finance ministers worried about how it would change the banking and payments system.

"The bottom line of this discussion is that there's interest of course by the G-7 governments, and I believe by all the governments in the world for this development, but there was pretty unanimous view that there are concerns as well as interest," Draghi said Thursday. "And they better first address the concerns."

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