Libra hasn't yet talked to Swiss data protection regulator

Facebook's blockchain lead David Marcus told lawmakers today that Swiss regulatory agencies would check Libra due to its setting up shop in Geneva. However, a spokesman from the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) told CNBC that Libra has yet to reach out to the regulator. 

Facebook confirmed to CNBC it had not yet spoken with the FDPIC. However, Marcus told lawmakers Libra has been in contact with several regulators, and the currency won't launch without approval. 

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To be clear, this is only one of the Swiss regulators Libra will have to contend with. FDPIC is focused on data privacy, which Facebook has had a troubling track record with in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Indeed, at today's U.S. Senate hearings, multiple lawmakers said they did not trust the social media giant due to its checkered history with data privacy. 

However, Facebook has been in contact with the primary financial regulator in Switzerland, the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA). A spokesman from FINMA told CNBC the two have been in talks. Marcus has also said Libra will be compliant with international guidelines, including Financial Action Task Force (FATF) guidance. It will also register with FinCEN as a money transmitting business. 

About Author

Aislinn Keely is a reporter on The Block's policy team holding down the legal beat. She covers court decisions, bankruptcies, regulatory actions and other key moments in the legal sphere, putting them in context for the wider crypto industry. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV and helmed Fordham University's student newspaper. Send tips or thoughts on all things policy and legal to [email protected] or follow her on Twitter for updates @AislinnKeely.

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