Business

Steve Kaaru

Kenya joins global regulators opposing Facebook’s crypto plans

Ever since Facebook announced plans to launch its cryptocurrency, global regulators have been up in arms opposing the move. The company hasn’t had the best profiles when it comes to maintenance and use of its users’ data. This makes many wary of entrusting such a huge undertaking with the social media giant. Kenya has joined the global voices opposed to the move.

The governor of the country’s central bank, Patrick Njoroge, recently addressed concerns regarding Libra, Facebook’s crypto. As reported by local outlet Business Daily, he acknowledged that there has been renewed interest in cryptos thanks to the hype surrounding Libra. However, the country was still miles away from crypto reality.

He stated, “We are still miles away from having solutions to those things (cryptocurrency). But I know there’s a lot of interest particularly with the new product that Facebook has recently announced. That actually is miles away from any regulation, including the Fed (central bank of the U.S.) which just recently said (Facebook’s cryptocurrency plan) needs to be paused. The risks are phenomenal and we need to understand the risks better before making a statement.”

Njoroge further revealed that he has been in constant consultation with his peers from other countries on the issue, and that they all had the same view. Some of the platforms he had used were through the Bank for International Settlements and the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting where Kenya is occasionally invited as a guest.

He added, “We collaborate with other central banks in the world. So in those sort of fora, we are working with other central banks to deal with regulations of cryptocurrency.”

Kenya joins several global regulators who have been skeptical of the Libra project. In the U.S, the House Democrats and Republicans have united to attack Facebook, a pretty big deal given the current levels of division in congress.

In the most recent episode, David Marcus, a Facebook executive and former PayPal president, was grilled by the Senate, with Facebook’s previous misuse of data being the biggest source of concern for the legislators. It didn’t help that Marcus was either vague or ambiguous, ducking many questions while giving half-baked answers for others.

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