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Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency faces more backlash – CNET

The founding partners of the Libra Association include Mastercard and Visa.



The founding partners of the Libra Association include Mastercard and Visa.


Facebook's newly announced cryptocurrency Libra is facing more pushback, this time reportedly from the Indian government. India, the third-largest economy in Asia, is considering not allowing the currency to be traded at all, according to a Bloomberg report Monday.

In April 2018, all entities regulated by the Reserve Bank of India were <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">banned from dealing in cryptocurrencies and virtual coins</a>, although individuals trading currencies like bitcoin remains legal. However, last month it was reported that the Indian government is working on draft laws that would propose a <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">jail sentence for any crypto users</a>. 

&quot;Design of the Facebook currency has not been fully explained,&quot; Subhash Garg, India's Economic Affairs Secretary, told Bloomberg in an interview Saturday. &quot;But whatever it is, it would be a private cryptocurrency and that's not something we have been comfortable with.&quot; 

Facebook last month <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">unveiled the global digital coin</a>, which will be <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">managed by a governing body called the Libra Association</a> and through a wallet named Calibra. Facebook is working alongside 27 launch partners for Libra, including PayPal, <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Visa</a>, Uber, Coinbase, <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Lyft</a>, Mastercard, Vodafone, <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">eBay</a> and <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Spotify</a>, but aims to have 100 members in the Libra Association by 2020. 

Libra — set to launch in the first half of next year —   is intended to be used to purchase products, send money internationally and make donations. 

The Libra blockchain will be global, but it will be up to the Calibra providers to determine where they will operate the wallet service. It also won't be available in any US-sanctioned countries, or countries that ban cryptocurrencies. 

Garg's office didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

<a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Libra has faced considerable skepticism and pushback</a> since being announced, with US and European politicians almost immediately expressing concerns that stem from <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Facebook's history of data security problems</a>.  

Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the US House Financial Services Committee, said <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Facebook &quot;has repeatedly shown a disregard for the protection and careful use of this data</a>.&quot; She last week also sent a letter to Facebook executives asking them to <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">temporarily cease plans to create Libra</a> until security and privacy concerns are addressed. 

A Senate committee has scheduled a hearing to discuss the cryptocurrency on July 17. 

In Europe, France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire reportedly said Libra would be fine if its use is limited to transactions, but that <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">Facebook shouldn't be allowed to create a &quot;sovereign currency</a>.&quot; 

&quot;Anything that works in this world will become instantly systemic and will have to be subject to the highest standards of regulation,&quot; Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, said about Libra at a meeting in Portugal, according to Bloomberg. 

Last week, more than 30 groups including the Economic Policy Institute and US PIRG also asked asked Congress and regulators to <a href="" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank">impose a moratorium on Libra</a> until &quot;profound questions&quot; are answered. 

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