EU Official: We Can’t Regulate Libra Without More Details

Danny Nelson

The European Union is still trying to figure out what to do about Libra, according to a memo released Tuesday by European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis.

The indecisiveness stems from a lack of actionable information. Specifically, Libra “lacks detail,” according to Dombrovskis. 

Despite repeatedly asking the Facebook-launched Libra Association for information about its payments ecosystem and eponymous stablecoin, the Commission – the EU’s executive branch – has yet to determine what, exactly, Libra is.

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“As Libra is still a project, and thereby a moving target, the information provided remains insufficient for determining the precise nature of Libra and, by extension, its relation with existing EU law,” he said.

But he said the Commission wants to “act swiftly” in creating regulations for Libra, stablecoins and other EU crypto-asset projects. This reaffirms the Commission’s Dec. 5, 2019, declaration that it will police stablecoins and their “risk” to financial stability.

Libra faced regulatory backlash after it was announced last year, with lawmakers and agencies worldwide calling for a halt to its development until the Facebook-led project could be scrutinized.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said the Libra Association, which formed its own governing council with 20 companies in mid-October, will wait until regulators are comfortable before launching.

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Zuckerberg said in testimony before a U.S. congressional committee last year that Facebook would withdraw from the project if the association chooses to launch before securing regulatory approvals.

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