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Facebook unfazed by regulatory opposition; applies for BitLicense in New York

Chayanika Deka

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Facebook unfazed by regulatory opposition; applies for BitLicense in New York
Source: Pixabay

In the world of cryptocurrencies, Facebook’s introduction of its cryptocurrency, Libra, was a tectonic event of epic proportions. And while many initially saw it as a vanity project by Mark Zuckerberg, recent developments suggest it will be more than that. According to Reuters, the social media company has applied for a BitLicense with the New York DFS.

Libra was met by a host of diverse reactions, soon after its launch. Some welcomed Facebook’s Libra, claiming that the social media giant’s massive user base would be key to wider crypto-adoption and a bullish Bitcoin. Others however, were more skeptical, raising questions about Facebook’s history with user privacy and Libra’s supposed centralization.

Governments and financial regulatory bodies have largely fallen into the latter group, with many calling for more scrutiny of crypto-assets and Libra, in particular. In fact, some members of the U.S House of Representatives have already called for a hearing on the same in July.

However, if the aforementioned report is true, it would seem that Facebook is unfazed by the growing opposition to its cryptocurrency project. If granted such a license by New York’s Department of Financial Services, Facebook will be able to launch crypto-operations in the state using its native cryptocurrency. Further, if this application for a license is accepted by the NYDFS, it would be precedentiary for other jurisdictions across the United States.

However, in light of the U.S Congress putting a spanner in the works, it is unlikely that the NYDFS will make a decision on Facebook’s BitLicense application any time soon.

U.S regulators aren’t the only ones to furiously react to Facebook introducing its own cryptocurrency. Regulatory agencies in the U.K and Switzerland have publicly claimed that they had concerns about the social media giant’s crypto-project. France’s Finance Minister led the most vociferous opposition, claiming that the G7’s central banks need to more time to study Libra. He also stated that Libra will never become a sovereign currency.

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Chayanika is a full-time cryptocurrency journalist at AMBCrypto. A graduate in Political Science and Journalism, her writing is centered around regulation and policy-making regarding the cryptocurrency sector.

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