Blockchain Training Institute: Lael Brainard, the Federal Reserve Governor was very critical about Libra on Wednesday, mentioning that the Facebook-led venture would have to comply with various regulatory norms before being launched.
One of the transcripts from Wednesday’s speech at the Future of Money in Digital Age forum organized in Washington, D.C., Brainard explained how worldwide Stablecoin ventures posed complicated legal issues that could at most hinder the prospects of Libra’ expected go live in 2020, and how it placed customers and international banking system at increased risk by keeping them unresolved.
The primary concern is of Stablecoins possibly becoming too popular and even competing with currencies circulated by the central banks.
Brainard was also of the opinion that if most of the domestic households and business units start relying on global Stablecoins for payments and also as a store of value, it would seriously hamper central banks’ financial records.
She noted that Libra was ideally positioned to do this with direct access to the enormous user base of Facebook – “one-third of the world population” – and perhaps even more so since Libra also aims to be accessible to people, not on the social network.
Nevertheless, Brainard doubted the existence of regulatory solutions for all those potential users.
Brainard also expressed that such consumers might not be aware of their digital wallet rights, and also the regulators who have developed a firewall to protect consumer’s traditional bank accounts, by insuring deposits to making financial organizations liable for any fraud.
“Not only is it not clear whether comparable protections will be in place with Libra, or what recourse consumers will have, but it is not even clear how much price risk consumers will face since they do not appear to have rights to the Stablecoin’s underlying assets.”
Libra’s intentions to be profoundly bound with the sovereign currencies, makes matter even worse as it is not obvious what are the rights of the users and holders on the underlying assets if any.
Brainard concluded with the following statement:
“It should be no surprise that Facebook’s Libra is attracting a high level of scrutiny from lawmakers and authorities.”
Debating the Digital Dollar
Her speech also included the Federal Reserve discussion about the virtues of the United States releasing a “Central Bank Digital Currency,” a digital dollar.
Previously, Brainard had restrained from the U.S.-backed digital dollar, has been fighting for that side at various levels like the effect on monetary policy, operational security threats, and the danger to the financial stability, along with the consequences on the privacy of users.
“If [a digital dollar] is designed to be financially transparent and provide safeguards against the illicit activity, a central bank digital currency for consumer use could conceivably require the central bank to keep a running record of all payment data using the digital currency—a stark difference from cash, for instance.”
According to Brainard, the Fed would yet proceed to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of a digital dollar. On Wednesday, she received support from another central banker, the President of Federal Reserve bank of Dallas, Rob Kaplan.