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Libra Cryptocurrency Raises Regulatory Challenges

Related Lawyers: Lucy Rigby
Related Practice Areas: Competition Litigation

A recent white paper published by the Libra Association around the roll-out of Libra, a cryptocurrency, blockchain and smart contract offering due to launch in 2020, has come under examination. Innovation and positive industry collaboration are balanced against possible restriction of competition and diminishing public trust.

After the news that the European Commission are looking into the possible antitrust concerns related to the Facebook-associated cryptocurrency Libra, Yves Mersch of the European Central Bank made a speech last week in which he described the Libra ecosystem as “cartel-like” and referred to the potential for abusive behaviour given the members’ access to privileged data. 

As part of CDR’s feature on the topic, Angela Bilbow spoke to Lucy Rigby who reflected: “Mr Mersch’s views on Libra certainly make very interesting reading and reflect the fact that Facebook’s new cryptocurrency raises a host of regulatory challenges – not simply from the point of view of the stability of the financial system and monetary supply but also in relation to competition law.  The power that it appears will be wielded by The Libra Association has seemingly caught the eye of the Commission and it’s not difficult to see why. This is also of course all in the context of Facebook’s very significant market power with billions of users worldwide.” 

Full article(reproduced with permission from CDR)