Facebook’s Libra is a ‘failure’, says Swiss president

Ueli Maurer says Mark Zuckerberg's project won't be taken seriously by banks unless it is given a major redesign

The president of Switzerland has branded Libra a ‘failure’ in its current form.

Ueli Maurer, who is Switzerland’s finance minister and outgoing president, told Swiss broadcaster SRF the Facebook crypto needs to be redesigned if its bid for regulatory consent in the European nation is to be successful.

He said: “I don’t think (Libra has a chance in its current form), because central banks will not accept the basket of currencies underpinning it,”

“The project, in this form, has thus failed,” he added.

The Facebook-led digital currency has been slammed by regulators and politicians over privacy concerns and lack of oversight.

Libra is a blockchain digital currency planned to be launched in 2020. Facebook aims to let its nearly two billion users pay and send digital cash using Libra – a move Mark Zuckerberg claims will help those with little or no access to banking services.

Last month, finance ministers in France declared they would “block Facebook’s Libra project” as it poses a threat to monetary sovereignty.

Portugal’s finance minister Mourinho Félix also underlined his country’s aversion to the project in a recent interview, saying: “Portugal shares the concern of other European countries regarding Facebook’s cryptocurrency.”

In October, US politicians blasted Zuckerberg over Libra, saying it will be a gift to “tax evaders and drug dealers”.

Congressman Brad Sherman made the comments during a hearing in Washington, where members of Congress grilled the Facebook CEO over the looming payment system.

He said: “Donald Trump said crypto assets can facilitate unlawful behaviour including the drug trade.

“Crypto either doesn’t work or it does achieve the objective and displaces the US dollar.

“The US dollar is an excellent currency. It serves all the needs except it’s really bad for tax evaders and terrorists.”

 

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