Facebook’s crypto GlobalCoin looks set to benefit from banking expertise as it has now hired a senior bank lobbyist from the UK in the shape of Standard Chartered’s Europe head of corporate and public affairs, Edward Bowles.
The news broke on Financial Times (FT) that Bowles will join in September to be Facebook’s director of public policy in London. This is only a week away from the much-awaited release of the detailed plans for GlobalCoin, which is scheduled to operate in 2020. Neither employers nor Bowles himself had responded to FT for comment.
Bitcoin News reported last month that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had held meetings with Bank of England governor Mark Carney to discuss the crypto project and assess the risks of the new payments network and digital currency.
Although there has been little formal disclosure from Facebook, it is widely believed that the crypto project would most likely resemble an iteration of a crypto stablecoin, allowing users to send each other money and to make payments across the suite of applications under its ownership, including Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
FT does note of the concern from regulators on whether the social media giant would be able to comply with strict anti money laundering (AML) and KYC regulations that are imposed on financial institutions — since this is what GlobalCoin would be. The worry is particularly because Facebook’s recent scandals over user data are still fresh in the memory
European Commission director-general for financial stability, Olivier Guersent, had in fact claimed to be unaware of any discussions between Facebook and EU regulators and commented:
“Facebook has a right like anyone else to launch itself on the market. But the issue is really the connection with the rest of their activities and the collection of data. That’s the angle through which we could tackle it.”
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