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Facebook's Libra seeks Swiss license after backlash for crypto project

Facebook’s (FB) cryptocurrency project Libra has applied for a payment license from Switzerland’s financial watchdog, following extensive backlash from policymakers globally. The Libra Association announced on Wednesday it is applying to Switzerland’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to be regulated as a payment systems operator. “Since our vision for the Libra project was announced 3 months ago, we have maintained our commitment that technology-powered financial services innovation and strong regulatory compliance and oversight are not in competition,” Disparte said in a statement. The cryptocurrency aims to be a global currency, backed by a basket of assets such as the dollar and euro, that would help millions of people in emerging markets access basic banking services. However, the project’s announcement sparked an immediate backlash from politicians and regulators around the world, amid concerns about everything from money laundering to monetary policy implications and privacy concerns.

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