A Japanese central banker has called for globally coordinated regulation of Facebook’s Libra project.
Far from the first world leader to imply that Facebook’s blockchain-based payments option is a potential threat to monetary policy, Haruhiko Kuroda implored policymakers on Tuesday to monitor the situation closely.
Kuroda has served as Governor of the Bank of Japan since 2013. His own bank was rumored to be creating a stablecoin called J-Coin back in 2017, but these reports were later debunked as being hyperbolic. The product that the bank was working on was much more like AliPay than Libra or Bitcoin.
Libra’s Huge Impact: Making Regulators Go Nuts
Reuters released an incredibly short report on Kuroda’s statements, quoting him as saying:
“If Libra is introduced, it could have a huge impact on society.”
Kuroda’s concerns echo those of American lawmakers, who grilled Libra chieftan David Marcus earlier this year and repeatedly called for the project to halt in its tracks. US politicians have gone as far as to accuse Facebook of attempting to build a parallel economy, outside the reach of governments.
Kuroda stressed that international cooperation will be key in properly regulating Libra.
To date, few government representatives, anywhere in the world, have said anything positive about Facebook Libra.
For all intents and purposes, Facebook Libra is a corporate-backed stablecoin with a built-in userbase that numbers in the billions. Its reach and potential impact on the crypto space cannot be understated; done properly, it could widen the reach of blockchain technology by an insane factor.
Kuroda’s country has some of the strictest regulators in the world, being ground zero for fraudulent crypto exchanges (Mt. Gox, our most famous disaster, was based in Japan). For example, earlier this year, the government dropped in unannounced on multiple crypto exchanges.
Switzerland, one of the most financially lenient countries in the world, recently said that they would likely require special licensing for Facebook to eventually launch its Libra product within its borders.
One thing is for certain: when Libra does launch, it will have gone through more rounds of approval and inspection than perhaps any other crypto project of its scale or ambition.