Mr. Zuckerberg Goes to Basel

Facebook’s proposed digital currency Libra caused quite a stir — most of it negative — when it was first announced earlier this year. Libra was conceived as a new vehicle for transferring money quickly around the globe without the use of banks as intermediaries. 

One wonders how Libra would have been initially received if it wasn’t dreamt up by Facebook — a company that hasn’t exactly gotten good press over the last few years. Nonetheless, the Libra consortium features some notable heavy hitters beyond Facebook, such as Visa, Mastercard, and Paypal. And unlike Bitcoin, Libra says it will be backed by tangible assets — a so-called “stablecoin.”

It’s clear that regulators and central banks have a keen interest in what Libra is, or may become, which is why Facebook honcho Mark Zuckerberg was in Basel, Switzerland earlier this week to meet with the Federal Reserve, Bank of England, and some twenty other central banks from around the globe. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall during this one.