If Facebook’s Libra project expects to operate within the United States, it will need to do so in full compliance with U.S. anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing regulations, according to U.S. Under Secretary of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker.
Mandelker emphasized the need for compliance while speaking with reporters in Bern, Switzerland on Tuesday, Reuters reports. She suggested that the cryptocurrency industry hasn’t done enough to ensure that their networks and products cannot be used to facilitate crime or terrorism:
“Whether it’s bitcoin, Ethereum, Libra, our message is the same to all of these companies: anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism has to be built into your design from the get-go.”
Mandelker was scheduled to meet with Swiss financial market regulators today to discuss issues like AML safeguards and enforcement actions. She noted that Switzerland has worked to position itself as a welcoming hub for innovations like fintech and said that countries that promote themselves as innovation hubs need to ensure that concerns about regulatory compliance are taken seriously.
She also suggested that Swiss officials share her belief that Libra’s efforts to ensure compliance are still in the early stages.
Libra spokesperson Dante Disparte responded to the comments by noting that the Libra Association welcomes the input from stakeholders and policymakers, and expressed confidence that these concerns could be addressed to everyone’s satisfaction:
“The Libra Association maintains that financial inclusion, regulatory compliance, and consumer protection are not competing objectives.”