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Facebook needs ‘very high standard’ for Libra coin: Mnuchin

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Facebook will need to meet “a very high standard” before it moves ahead with its planned digital currency Libra, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.

Mnuchin said US regulators have already expressed concerns to Facebook about the plan for a global cryptocurrency, noting that these kinds of virtual coins have in the past been associated with money laundering and illicit activities.

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“Whether they’re banks or non-banks, they’re under the same regulatory environment,” Mnuchin told reporters at the White House, adding that Facebook “will have to have a very high standard before they have access to the financial system.”

Facebook last month unveiled its plans for Libra, widely regarded as a challenger to dominant global player bitcoin. Libra is expected to launch in the first half of 2020. It is designed to be backed by a basket of currency assets to avoid the wild swings of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Mnuchin said the US Treasury welcomes “responsible innovations” that can improve the efficiency of the financial system but added: “Our overriding goal is to maintain the integrity of the financial system and protect it from abuse.”

He said US regulators have met with Facebook officials on this question, and how Facebook can protect against the new virtual coin being used for criminal activity.

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Commenting on Facebook’s claim that Libra could lower costs and help people without access to traditional financial services, Mnuchin said, “That’s fine (but) they’ve got a lot of work to do to convince us they can get to that place.”

Mnuchin’s comments echoed concerns voiced by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and regulators around the world, as well as by lawmakers set to open hearings this week on the plan by Facebook and its partners in the Libra project.

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– Hearing set Tuesday –

AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Facebook will need to show its new digital currency Libra won’t damage the US or global financial system

Facebook will need to meet “a very high standard” before it moves ahead with its planned digital currency Libra, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Monday.

Mnuchin said US regulators have already expressed concerns to Facebook about the plan for a global cryptocurrency, noting that these kinds of virtual coins have in the past been associated with money laundering and illicit activities.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Whether they’re banks or non-banks, they’re under the same regulatory environment,” Mnuchin told reporters at the White House, adding that Facebook “will have to have a very high standard before they have access to the financial system.”

Facebook last month unveiled its plans for Libra, widely regarded as a challenger to dominant global player bitcoin. Libra is expected to launch in the first half of 2020. It is designed to be backed by a basket of currency assets to avoid the wild swings of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Mnuchin said the US Treasury welcomes “responsible innovations” that can improve the efficiency of the financial system but added: “Our overriding goal is to maintain the integrity of the financial system and protect it from abuse.”

ADVERTISEMENT

He said US regulators have met with Facebook officials on this question, and how Facebook can protect against the new virtual coin being used for criminal activity.

Commenting on Facebook’s claim that Libra could lower costs and help people without access to traditional financial services, Mnuchin said, “That’s fine (but) they’ve got a lot of work to do to convince us they can get to that place.”

Mnuchin’s comments echoed concerns voiced by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and regulators around the world, as well as by lawmakers set to open hearings this week on the plan by Facebook and its partners in the Libra project.

ADVERTISEMENT

– Hearing set Tuesday –

AFP/File / Glenn CHAPMAN Facebook’s David Marcus, who heads the social network’s digital currency initiative, said he expects an extensive regulatory review of the Libra project

David Marcus, who heads Facebook’s digital wallet and blockchain efforts, said in testimony prepared for delivery Tuesday that he expects regulators to carry out an extensive review of the Libra project.

“The time between now and launch is designed to be an open process and subject to regulatory oversight and review,” Marcus was to say in his remarks, which were released by the Senate Banking Committee.

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“We know we need to take the time to get this right. And I want to be clear: Facebook will not offer the Libra digital currency until we have fully addressed regulatory concerns and received appropriate approvals.”

The companies behind Libra include payment giants Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, as well as ride-hailing apps Lyft and Uber.

Central bankers around the world have said they would carefully study the proposed currency and last week US President Donald Trump weighed in, saying, “I am not a fan of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’

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The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.

"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.

When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.

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Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?

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The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.

"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.

The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."

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White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting

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Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.

King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.

A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.

https://twitter.com/corinne_perkins/status/1162806565109473280

Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/sedespres/status/1162811223186006018

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