The representative of the agency expressed her concern since, beyond the emphasis on technology; many cryptocurrencies do not implement mechanisms to combat money laundering and other financial crimes.

Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the U.S. Department of Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, informed in a press conference that Facebook’s Libra and any other digital currency must meet the highest standards of compliance in terms of the rules and regulations that govern in the United States.

The statements were made during an event related to the use of cryptocurrencies that was taking place in Geneva, Switzerland. The official clarified that this measure applies to all digital currencies in addition to Libra, the latter being the case with the greatest stir because of the position of the country’s legislators headed by U.S Congresswoman Maxine Waters.

In this regard, Mandelker commented that, whether Bitcoin, Ethereum, Libra, or any other cryptocurrency, the U.S. Treasury would give the same massage to all those companies. She explains that the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing must be present in their design from the very beginning.

The meeting, which was held in Geneva, was attended by representatives of the Swiss government, banks and international financial organizations.

Fight against Money Laundering

Disclosing some details about the digital currency ecosystem, Mandelker said that the industry focused its efforts on the construction of a very solid infrastructure, but neglected important aspects in the fight against terrorism and money laundering.

The U.S. Treasury official also expressed her concern about the fact that Switzerland is listed as one of the places with the most permissive laws for the operation of cryptocurrencies. Consequently, she invited the authorities of the European country, and other nations with a similar position, to be very aware of the risks posed by digital currencies in terms of capital legitimacy.

In this respect, Thomas Moser, alternate member of the governing board at the Swiss National Bank, said a few days ago that the entity does not see any problem with the proposal that Facebook plans to promote by early 2020.  He explained that the company is operating in accordance with the legal provisions that apply within the Swiss territory

Data Management

However, beyond the concern about money management, the Swiss Federal Commissioner for the Protection of Data and Information indicated two months ago that the directors of the social network had not provided the agency with further details about the digital currency, especially regarding the mechanisms to protect users’ private information.

The same concerns were expressed by Waters last month during her visit to Switzerland, where she said that she was worried that Facebook was left with all this information, especially after all the legal disputes that it underwent due to the Cambridge Analytica case.

Despite this, the main concern of Waters, and the other members of the Financial Services Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, is about the effects that Libra has on local and global economy. She considers that this could lead to the eventual loss of power of the US dollar as one of the main currencies for international trade.

By Willmen Blanco


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