United States Treasury Under Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, has declared that Facebook’s proposed Libra global cryptocurrency project will not be launched unless Libra complies with tough anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-terrorist financing standards, reports Reuters on September 10, 2019.
Libra Must Comply or Die
As the 2020 launch date of Libra cryptocurrency draws near, United States financial regulators are turning up the heat on Facebook and the organizers of Project Libra, to ensure the multi-billion dollar global cryptocurrency project bends to its rules.
In the latest development, U.S. Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Madelker, has made it clear that Libra has to implement robust AML and anti-terrorist financing measures in its design to get the nod of U.S. authorities.
Speaking at a round table meeting made up of Swiss government officials and representatives from the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), as well as other financial bodies, Mandelker noted that the agency’s major concern when it comes to cryptos is how to make it impossible for bad actors to use cryptoassets in aiding their activities.
In her words:
“Whether it’s bitcoin, ether or Libra, our message is the same to all of these projects: anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism has to be built into your design from the get-go.”
More Work to Be Done
Mandelker further stated that while the entire crypto community have put great effort into developing the underlying distributed ledger technology (DLT) and building infrastructures to support wider adoption of digital assets, enough work has not been done to prevent the negative use of these decentralized systems.
Against that backdrop, Madelker plans to hold more extensive talks with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), concerning the application of tough anti-money laundering safeguards and how to punish firms that fail to comply with the AML rules.
The Treasury official also said that since Switzerland has welcomed fintech and crypto-related businesses with open arms, it’s also crucial for the nation to formulate strict guidelines to paralyze the operations of fraudsters.
Dante Disparte, a spokesman for Libra commended the approach of the officials towards ensuring Project Libra meets the necessary regulatory standards, adding that the Libra Association remains determined to foster financial inclusion, while also following the rule of law.
“The Libra Association maintains that financial inclusion, regulatory compliance, and consumer protection are not competing objectives,” he said.
In related news, on September 3, 2019, BTCManager informed that Yves Mersch, an executive board member at the European Central Bank (ECB) believes that Libra will undermine the monetary policies of the apex bank.