If Facebook’s crypto project Libra wants to survive in the US, it must ensure building a system that does not let criminals hide, and that is capable of tackling problems associated with terrorism funding and money laundering, said the US Under Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, on September 10.
Mandelker talked to the press after attending a meeting about the crypto industry and the Geneva-based Libra project, at the US embassy in Bern, the Swiss capital. Swiss government officials and representatives from various global financial institutions, including the Bank for International Settlements, were also present in the meeting.
The senior US Treasury official shared her concerns over the crypto industry and security aspects of blockchain technology. She said that companies in the cryptocurrency market mainly focuse on building and growing their technology and pay little attention on making it secure. She said that fighting the financing of terrorism and money laundering must be a part of the crypto projects’ infrastructure from the very beginning. This message is the same for Libra, Bitcoin(BTC)trade, Ethereum (ETH)trade, and all other types of cryptocurrencies, she added.
According to Mandelker, any cryptocurrency in the United States, including the soon-to be-launched Libra, generally has to operate across the whole country. This is what makes it crucial for such crypto projects to meet the high standards of the US regulatory authorities as part of their operations.
In a meeting with FINMA, the Swiss financial market supervisory authority, Mandelker also said that she will discuss the implementation of important anti-money laundering laws and taking action against companies which break those laws. FINMA has developed a digital currency hub known as the “Crypto Valley.” In August, Switzerland’s first banking and securities licenses have also been issued to two blockchain service providers by FINMA.
Mandelker acknowledged Switzerland’s efforts to promote itself as an innovation and fintech hub. The countries promoting themselves in this field ought to take these security concerns very seriously and sincerely, she added.
According to Mandelker, the Libra project is still at an early stage of coming up with ways to stop criminals from abusing the digital currency. The Swiss officials believe the same, she alleged.
However, this is not the first time that officials have shared their concerns over Facebook’s Libra project. In July alone, a group of seven finance ministers and central bankers shared their worries over the Libra cryptocurrency and suggested that such a digital currency should be tightly regulated to ensure the safety of the world’s financial system.