Singapore’s central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), is seeking more information from Facebook about its recently unveiled cryptocurrency project, Libra.
As reported by Bloomberg, MAS managing director Ravi Menon said at a media briefing on Thursday that his institution has held talks with the social media giant over concerns about how Libra would function, although he acknowledged there are potential benefits too.
Currently, MAS is having trouble deciding on how to categorize Libra in terms of regulation. “At this point we are not sure yet,” Menon said.
Regarding the possible benefits, he said that Libra “offers a very interesting proposition that could help to address” existing “expensive, inefficient, sometimes risky” methods of remittance.
However, MAS needs more information to gauge these benefits over existing electronic payments systems. The regulator needs to understand “how exactly it’s going to work.” Menon said, including aspects such as Libra’s economics, security and privacy.
Menon’s comments come as the latest in a line of global regulators to state that more information is needed to understand the benefits and risks of Libra.
Authorities in Italy, the U.K. and France have recently indicated that Libra raises issues that must be examined.
Over in the U.S., the House Financial Services Committee will host a hearing on Facebook’s libra cryptocurrency next month, just a day after the Senate Banking Committee holds its own hearing.
Maxine Waters, chair of the powerful House committee, has raised concerns that Facebook’s token could ultimately rival the dollar, while French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has said it’s “out of question’’ that Libra be allowed to “become a sovereign currency. It can’t and it must not happen.”
As a result, France is creating a task force within the Group of Seven (G7) nations to examine the issues.
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