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Facebook discussed launch of cryptocurrency Libra with the Fed



Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will witness after a break during a Senate trade, science and transport committee and Senate judicial committee joint hearing on Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that Facebook was talking to the central bank about the digital currency called Libra, which tech giant helps create.

"Facebook thinks I've made quite wide rounds around the world with regulators, tutors, and many people discussing their plans, and it certainly includes us," Powell says.

Libra is a digital currency, also known as a crypto competition, designed to transform how money moves around the world. Facebook announced Monday that it is running a group of payment and technology companies ̵

1; including Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, eBay, Lift and Uber – to create Libra launched in the first half of next year.

Powell noted that Fed meets "with a wide range of financial companies constantly on financial technology."

"There is only a huge amount of innovation going on out there," Powell said.

Although Libra intends to solve some of the problems that cryptocurrencies face, Powell also found that Facebook's group is likely to overcome other issues before Libra is used around the world.

"There are potential benefits here, and there are also potential risks, especially of a currency that could potentially be of great use," Powell said. "We will end up having quite high expectations from a safety and health and supervisory point of view if they decide to move on with something."

Powell noted that the Fed does not have "plenary" over crypto curve as Libra. Instead, Powell said the central bank could instead influence the widespread adoption of crypto competition "through international forums" because the Fed has "significant entry into the payment system."


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