Libra CEO Stuart Levy has worked for HSBC and the US Government. With Levy’s appointment, Facebook now seems to be taking a step back from the project.
The Libra Association’s first CEO is Stuart Levey. Prior to this appointment, Levey was HSBC’s chief legal officer since 2012. He has also worked in the US Department of Justice and was the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence during George Bush Jr and Barack Obama’s term.
Katie Haun, the Libra Association board member who led the search, said that Levey’s accomplishments in both the public and private sector was one of the reasons they chose to appoint him.
“Stuart brings to the Libra Association the rare combination of an accomplished leader in both the government, where he enjoyed bipartisan respect and influence, and the private sector where he managed teams spread across the globe.”
Levey’s appointment follows news that Facebook is scaling back on its plans for Libra due to concerns that were voiced by financial regulators.
When Libra was first created, Zuckerberg envisioned it to become a simple global financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people around the globe.
However, regulators believed that there was a possibility for Libra to play a role in facilitating money laundering operations and undermining the authority of central banks worldwide.
In response to these concerns, Facebook has changed key aspects of the Libra, including:
- The creation of single currency-backed stable coins
- Increased anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism sanctions
- The introduction of the Libra Reserve, offering increased protection for its users.
- Registering with the US Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network as a “money services business.”
Since inception, Libra has been a controversial topic for regulators and crypto-enthusiasts alike. Zuckerberg has had to go as far as to testify before the US Congress on its behalf. In addition the Libra has experienced challenges with consistent development due to several of its founding members leaving the project, such as Paypal, Mastercard, Visa, and eBay.
This recent announcement is widely seen as Facebook distancing itself from the cryptocurrency, especially with the appointment of a CEO who has worked with the US Government. It is hoped that this will put the Libra in a positive light and put into effect the changes needed to make its approval and launch a reality.