Facebook's Cryptocurrency Will Face 'Regulatory Hurricane,' Canaccord Analysts Say

Facebook's Libra coin will face a regulatory "hurricane," warn otherwise-bullish analysts at investment bank Canaccord.

Jun 19, 2019 at 3:10 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 9:20 a.m. UTC

Analysts at investment bank Canaccord Genuity think Facebook's new cryptocurrency might benefit the world – if regulators allow it.

In a note to clients Wednesday, analyst Michael Graham wrote that Facebook's Libra Network, unveiled on Tuesday, would seemingly benefit the blockchain space, unbanked individuals and (to some "modest" amount) Facebook's bottom line.

However, he highlighted that the project must first receive a seal of approval, or at least no resistance, from national governments worldwide.

"Regulatory headwinds could be hurricane force – on one level, governments should appreciate Libra for the boost it might bring to global commerce. On another level, Libra is by far the most credible crypto threat yet to government-sponsored currencies."

Indeed, lawmakers and regulators are already pushing back against the project. In the U.S., Representatives Maxine Waters and Patrick McHenry, respectively the chair and ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, have called for a hearing with Facebook executives to discuss libra, with Waters going as far as to ask Facebook to cease development – at least temporarily.

, Markus Ferber, a German member of the European Parliament, said Facebook should not be "allowed to operate in a regulatory nirvana," while French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the libra cannot become a sovereign currency.

Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, also weighed in, saying he held an open mind but that the libra should be examined closely.

'Global good'

Regulatory hurdles aside, Graham appeared to be bullish about both the libra and the effect it may have worldwide.

"We see Libra as socially conscientious leverage of the company's global clout to bring financial inclusion to billions of Earth's citizens for the first time," he wrote.

As for the libra's implications for the blockchain space, he noted that Facebook's goal is to only hold 1/100 of the votes for the Libra Association, the governing council that will make decisions about the protocol. In his view, this is "the right level of centralization."

More importantly, if the libra succeeds, it might validate the blockchain payments model. He went so far as to suggest it may become the most valuable cryptocurrency, writing:

"However, if Libra fulfills its ambitions, it could potentially displace bitcoin and other existing digital assets that are primarily used as a payments vehicle or store of value."

The note also touched on secondary benefits that Facebook's launch partners may see. Merchants that utilize the libra may see lower fees and an increased number of customers, he wrote, specifically mentioning Lyft, Uber, eBay, PayPal and Spotify.

On the other hand, companies like PayPal may also face issues if the libra model succeeds.

Graham returned to the potential number of users in his closing summary, writing that "billions of potential Libra adopters can be targeted in minutes," if unbanked individuals suddenly gain access to financial services. He said:

"The scale of reach here is unprecedented."
CoinDesk - Unknown

Facebook image via Shutterstock

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.


CoinDesk - Unknown
DeFi Trading Hub Uniswap Surpasses $1T in Lifetime Volume

Although traders still tend to favor centralized exchanges, the DEX is continuing to expand across Web 3.

Although traders still tend to favor centralized exchanges, the DEX is continuing to expand across Web 3.

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown
Crypto Crime, Whiskey and Always Twirling, Twirling Towards Freedom

The best and brightest people can make truly stupid decisions and terrible predictions. What can we learn from them?

The best and brightest people can make truly stupid decisions and terrible predictions. What can we learn from them?

CoinDesk - Unknown
CoinDesk - Unknown
Bitcoin registra ocho semanas de pérdidas, pero el indicador de sentimiento sugiere un alza

Los indicadores de sentimiento tocaron fondo el lunes.

Los indicadores de sentimiento tocaron fondo el lunes.

CoinDesk - Unknown