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Libra sparks European soul-searching on digital currencies and payment networks
04 December 2020 00:00
With Facebook’s Libra set to take on the world, the question in global financial-services circles has now turned to how best to regulate, or even whether to allow, the digital currency. Facebook is no stranger to conversations about regulation; but in Europe the advent of Libra has prompted a broader discussion about whether there isn’t a better way to cut high bank transfer charges. In the EU, commercial banks plan a rival to Visa and Mastercard – while central banks are also considering launching their own, state-backed, cryptocurrencies.
The Libra project has been issued yet another warning from international financial policymakers: regulation comes first.
EU banks hope the expansion of their new payments initiative will ease antitrust concerns that the planned rival to Visa and Mastercard is a closed shop.