Mnuchin 'Fine' With Libra Launch, But Crypto Project Must 'Fully' Comply With AML Rules

Steven Mnuchin, secretary of the U.S. Treasury, has no issue with the launch of the Facebook-led Libra project – as long as financial rules are followed to the letter.

AccessTimeIconDec 6, 2019 at 11:15 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:46 a.m. UTC

Steven Mnuchin, secretary of the U.S. Treasury, has no issue with the launch of the Facebook-led Libra project – as long as financial rules are followed.

“I’m fine if Facebook wants to create a digital currency, but they need to be fully compliant” with financial secrecy and anti-money laundering rules, he said Thursday, according to a Bloomberg report. “In no way can this be used for terrorist financing.”

Mnuchin was speaking in Washington, D.C. at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee in response to a question from a lawmaker.

Since Libra was announced in June, much to the chagrin of the globe's regulators and central banks, Mnuchin indicated he's met with Facebook a dozen times to talk over regulatory concerns. That's slowed the pace of the payments project's move toward launch, he said.

Libra will be a stablecoin for payments through Facebook platforms and other wallets and products and is likely to be pegged to a basket of national currencies and government bonds.

At the hearing, Mnuchin also said the U.S. is unlikely to develop a digital currency in the near term, Bloomberg wrote.

“[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,” Mnuchin said.

The hearing saw questions over China's plans to launch a digital yuan in the near future. The European Central Bank also made comments recently that it might launch a digital currency if traditional payments methods are not improved for consumers.

Powell has previously indicated that the Fed is evaluating a digital dollar, but the benefits are not yet clear.

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