The Libra Association, the organization developing the Facebook-backed cryptocurrency project libra, has hired a banking heavyweight to help drive the initiative forward.

  • The Geneva-based organization announced Thursday that former HSBC executive James Emmett will take on the role of managing director of Libra Networks LLC, the operating company subsidiary of the Libra Association.
  • Taking up his new position on Oct. 1, Emmett will "help make Libra's vision a reality," said the association's CEO, Stuart Levey.
  • Emmett brings 25 years of experience at HSBC, where has was previously CEO of HSBC Bank PLC and Europe.
  • Before that he was chief operating officer at the bank, where he guided technology and operations.
  • Talking of his new role, Emmett said: " I am delighted to be joining Libra Networks with a mission to enhance financial innovation and inclusion and to deliver the operationalization of the network.”
  • The Libra project is forging on with its plans, despite having had strident pushback from regulators and politicians over its potential affects on financial stability and monetary sovereignty.
  • In effect, some fear that a digital payments system pushed over Facebook's network of billions of global users could lessen the influence of fiat currencies and the powers that control them.
  • Libra was said to have abandoned plans for its stablecoin to be backed by a basket of major fiat currencies, though that was disputed by its policy director in July.
  • To help smooth its path with the world's watchdogs, Libra has been hiring legal experts with connections to government such as the former general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a former aide to a U.S. senator.
  • Meanwhile, the European Union may bring in regulation that would set stringent standards for "global stablecoins," the apparent regulators' code term for libra.

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