Banking News

Libra to apply for Swiss FINMA payments license

libra

Today the Libra Association, the Swiss-based organization behind the Facebook-founded stablecoin, announced it is planning to apply for a payments license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). The organization says it is first requesting a ruling on the regulatory status of the Libra Association and the Libra coin.

This is one of the first public announcements since the Libra hearings in front of the US Senate and House of Representatives. Many government organizations have lined up with concerns about blockchain-based Libra because of its potential scale – or systemic impact – as a result of backing from Facebook with its user base of more than two billion. Twenty-six other major brands also back the Association including Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and Vodafone.

“Since our vision for the Libra project was announced 3 months ago, we have maintained our commitment that technology-powered financial services innovation and strong regulatory compliance and oversight are not in competition,” said, Dante Disparte, Libra Association’s head of policy and communications.”

“We are engaging in constructive dialogue with FINMA and we see a feasible pathway for an open-source blockchain network to become a regulated, low-friction, high-security payment system. This is an important step in Libra project’s evolution, and we look forward to continuing our engagement with all stakeholders over the coming months.”

In the announcement, the Association reiterated its commitment to supporting the unbanked and underbanked. It emphasized how it will help to address the high cost of cross border payments and micropayments.

Switzerland, along with Singapore is one of the most cryptocurrency friendly jurisdictions. Just two weeks ago FINMA licensed two digital asset banks Sygnum and SEBA Crypto. Like Libra, the two companies also have association with big brands. In the case of Sygnum, the brands are Deutsche Börse and Swisscom, and for SEBA private bank Julius Baer plans to adopt the platform.

This article has been updated