The slow, careful and deliberate approach regulators have taken towards cryptocurrency just won’t cut it in the age of Libra. That’s the word from the European Central Bank (ECB), which stresses that regulators need to step up and act fast in the age of a digital currency offered by Facebook.
Bloomberg reports Executive Board member Benoit Coeure of the ECB feels the current pace of regulators just won’t cut it when it comes to Libra. “It’s out of the question to allow them to develop in a regulatory void for their financial service activities, because it’s just too dangerous,” Coeure said. “We have to move more quickly than we’ve been able to do up until now.”
Ten years after Bitcoin was first introduced by Satoshi Nakamoto, many countries lack the regulation necessary to protect their citizens from many of the more criminal elements in the crypto world. Despite hundreds of millions in scams, fraud, or just terrible management of cryptocurrency exchanges, regulators have taken their time in implementing laws because they wanted to get it just right.
That’s a luxury they can no longer afford, as Facebook and their Libra partners are about to unload their digital currency on a potential 2 billion users. Coeure is now critical of those regulators and the banking industry as a whole for not adapting more quickly. “All these projects are a rather useful wake-up call for regulators and public authorities, as they encourage us to raise a number of questions and might make us improve the way we do things,” Coeure said.
Useful wake-up calls are nice, but with Libra less than a year away, many government officials seem to be focusing on the company rather than the bigger issues. Several members of the U.S. Congress question the problems the world already knows that Facebook has, such as fake accounts and Russian manipulation. They ignore the bigger, overarching problem of a lack of regulation for digital currency as a whole.
Dark coins, of which there are thousands offering little to no value in the cryptocurrency market, are offered by nearly anonymous developers, and many ask for investment with no prospect of offering any value or returns.
This has been a problem for years, but thankfully, Facebook is now waking the world up to it. Even if Libra never provides the value that Bitcoin can, at least it woke the right people up to the ills of the industry.
New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.