European Central Bank Executive Board member Benoit Coeure is urging quick action from regulators, as giant tech companies move forward with cryptocurrency projects that could impact the existing financial system. On Sunday, Coeure suggested that innovations like Facebook’s Project Libra only serve to highlight deficiencies in the current regulatory environment.
According to Coeure, regulation can no longer wait:
“It’s out of the question to allow them to develop in a regulatory void for their financial service activities, because it’s just too dangerous. We have to move more quickly than we’ve been able to do up until now.”
As Bloomberg reported today, many policymakers around the world have expressed a new sense of urgency since Facebook unveiled its plans for Project Libra. While some officials have expressed cautious interest in learning more about the company’s plans, others have sounded the regulatory alarms. In the United States, the Congress last week formally asked Facebook executives to agree to a moratorium on the project until lawmakers have a chance to get a handle on the issue.
For his part, Coeure seems to believe that these tech company moves may provide the “wake-up call” officials need to focus their attention on the challenge:
“All these projects are a rather useful wake-up call for regulators and public authorities, as they encourage us to raise a number of questions and might make us improve the way we do things.”