Australia could regulate Facebook-led Libra project

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), one of the country’s top financial regulators, has said that it could "potentially" regulate the Facebook-led Libra stablecoin project.

In an official submission to a Senate inquiry on fintech, published Monday, APRA said it has proposed a new regulatory framework that would allow it to oversee wallets that are “widely used as a means of payment,” for example, “potentially Facebook’s Calibra proposal.”

“The new framework is intended not only to be fit for purpose for the current financial system but also be able to accommodate future developments and technological advances, such as proposals for global stable coin eco-systems that have been the subject of significant attention in recent months," said APRA.

Calibra, a digital wallet for the Libra stablecoin, is currently under development and is expected to get launched later this year.

APRA’s submission appears to be a positive development for Libra, which has faced increased regulatory scrutiny across the world since its announcement last June. The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), the country's central bank, itself once said that Libra should not be allowed to launch until all regulatory requirements are met.

Earlier this month, the RBA also said that it believes Australians won’t use Libra as the country is “already well-served by a range of low-cost and efficient real-time payment methods.”