WASHINGTON – Group of 20 finance leaders on Friday agreed to set strict regulations on cryptocurrencies such as Facebook’s Libra, warning that issuance of such “stablecoins” should not be allowed until various global risks they pose have been addressed.
The agreement came after a G7 working group warned that when launched on a wide scale, stablecoins – digital currencies usually backed by traditional money and other assets – could threaten the world’s monetary system and financial stability.
Finance chiefs of the G20 major economies agreed that while stablecoins could have potential benefits of financial innovation, they give rise to a set of “serious” public policy and regulatory risks.
“Such risks, including in particular those related to money laundering, illicit finance and consumer and investor protection, need to be evaluated and appropriately addressed before these projects can commence operation,” the G20 finance leaders said in a statement issued after their meeting.
Bank of Japan governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the G20 will kick off debate on how to regulate stablecoins based on proposals it receives from standard-setting bodies like the Financial Stability Board and the Financial Action Task Force.
The FSB and the FATF are expected to report their findings on stablecoins to the G20 next year. That reduces the chance Facebook will meet its goal of rolling out Libra in 2020.
“Policymakers have expressed concerns over various risks stablecoins pose. Until they are addressed, stablecoins should not be issued. That was something agreed by the G20 members,” Kuroda told a news conference hosted by Japan, which chaired this year’s G20 gatherings. (Reuters)