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Stablecoin Swiss data commissioner checks up on Libra cryptocurrency

Libra

Libra's stablecoin could challenge banks and credit card firms but also raises questions about privacy given its link to Facebook. 

(Keystone / Kay Nietfeld)

The Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) external linkhas reached out to the Facebook-backed Libra Foundation in Geneva to enquire about the status of its crypto currency project. 

Adrian Lobsiger contacted Libra a day after its boss David Marcus testified before the United States Congress on July 16, according to an FDPIC statement released on Tuesday. Marcus said that Switzerland’s data protection commissioner should oversee Libra’s stated commitment not to monetise users’ data in the way that Facebook makes profit from selling personal information to advertisers.  

In his letter, Lobsiger requested Libra to clarify their official position with regard to oversight. He also asked the foundation to provide information on the kind of personal data that will be processed in Switzerland. The data commissioner also gave Libra a taste of the kind of oversight it can expect from the Swiss authorities.  

“The FDPIC also wrote that he assumed that, in relation to personal data, an impact assessment would be conducted of the data protection risks that specified the planned processing procedures, evaluated the data protection risks for the persons concerned, and proposed appropriate measures to minimize these risks,” said the FDPIC statement. 

The Libra Association was established in Geneva in May and details of its role were set out a month later. It will manage a pool of government-issued currencies, including the US dollar, British pound, euro and Japanese yen, to underpin the value of the Libra “stablecoin”. 

Marcus revealed that Libra has already held talks with the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA)external link about supervising the Libra Association. He said that he expects further discussions to set up an “appropriate regulatory framework”, adding that Libra expects to register with the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) as a “money services business”. 


swissinfo.ch/ac

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