Libra, the cryptocurrency created by Facebook and expected to be launched next year, must meet with United States regulatory standards to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, regardless of whether the project is being developed abroad, according to a senior US Treasury official.
Last Tuesday, U.S. Under Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, told journalists in Berna, Switzerland, that any cryptocurrency project that operates completely or partially in the United States must comply with the country’s regulatory standards. This would also apply to Libra, whose project is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mandelker added: “The message is the same for all cryptocurrency companies: the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing must be built into your design from the beginning.”
These statements by Mandelker took place on the occasion of her visit in Switzerland, during which he met with Swiss government officials and representatives of the Bank for International Settlements and other international financial organizations, having cryptocurrencies as main topic of discussion.
For Mandelker, much of the cryptocurrency industry has paid very little attention to ensure that its networks don’t allow terrorists and other criminal organizations to hide and move money.
However, both the Treasury official and Swiss officials agree that the Libra project is still in its early stages to think about how to avoid such crimes within its platform.
It should be noted that digital currencies have been a matter of great concern and, as stated by Group of Seven finance ministers and central bankers last July, they must be subject to strict regulations to ensure that they don’t produce alterations in the world’s financial system.