U.S secretary of state Steve Mnuchin has said that he has no issues with the Libra launch as long as financial rules are followed. This comes as a bit of a surprise since the Libra project has faced the most resistance from the country of its birth. Western countries such as France and Germany have shown their disdain for the project as well.
The U.S congress is where the project has received the most scrutiny, with lawmakers challenging its parent company Facebook’s ability to keep data private. There have also been major concerns that the Libra might destabilize the dollar by becoming a competing currency. Steven Mnuchin did not seem to be quite a fan of the project himself, when he said back in October that Libra’s partners were looking to abandon ship probably due to compliance concerns.
While speaking in Washington DC at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee, Mnuchin responded to a lawmaker who asked about the project. According to a Bloomberg report, the U.S secretary of state said;
“I’m fine if Facebook wants to create a digital currency, but they need to be fully compliant” Mnuchin was referring to the financial secrecy and anti-money laundering rules that exist. “In no way can this be used for terrorist financing.” He added.
Since Facebook announced the Libra project back in June, a lot of chatter has gone on about the digital currency. The validity of the Libra as a proper digital currency has been questioned, not to mention Facebook’s ability to keep transactions anonymous. Mnuchin has indicated before that he had a couple of meetings with Facebook to discuss regulatory issues.
At the hearing, Mnuchin revealed that the U.S had no plans to launch a digital currency in the near term. He said;
[Federal Reserve Chair Jerome] Powell and I have discussed this – we both agree that in the near future, in the next five years, we see no need for the Fed to issue a digital currency,”
China’s interest in digital currency was also discussed at the hearing. China’s plans to launch a Yuan-based digital currency has made the FED evaluate the possibility of launching a digital dollar. The benefits of the discussed digital order are not yet clear though.