Libra Association is fully baptizing itself from the liberal view of replacing banks and financial authorities across the globe by taking on a more regulatory-compliant approach in its development.
In an announcement released on June 10, 2020, Libra aims to strengthen these efforts through the appointment of former Managing Director and Deputy Head of Financial Crime Compliance at Goldman Sachs, Sterling Daines, in the role of Chief Compliance Officer. He said,
“I am pleased to join the Libra Association as it works to transform the digital payment space to empower billions of people.”
However, the development of Libra has faced several criticisms from regulators and the traditional financial community alike worldwide. The fears of money laundering and user data protection on the stablecoin use were vital points of direction in G20's Financial Stability report and a recommendation of increased regulation on Libra's stablecoin.
Daines aims to lead the digital payments company through a global financial-compliant growth by developing “a safe, compliant, and reliable platform for all users.” His expertise in global financial compliance, having worked in Deloitte's Financial Advisory board and the forensic department, as well as consulting with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), is an excellent addition to the team, the statement reads.
A Focus on Compliance
The constant criticism from governments and regulators globally set the Facebook-led company to adopt more enhanced compliance protocols. In April this year, the company announced the launch of an updated whitepaper, which takes on a more conservative approach on its implementation, introducing multiple Libra stablecoins, as a start.
However, one U.S. congresswoman is still not convinced that the changes made in the updated whitepaper are sufficient to commission its launch. Daines responded to the doubts on the new whitepaper launch stating the company is setting off a “space race” as the government's rush into this industry.
However, with most governments and central banks exploring large scale CBDCs, Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications at the Libra Association, believes a retail use offers a greater opportunity. He said,
“When they [central banks] take the leap beyond wholesale, which is where most CBDC work is going, and start thinking about retail applications, then we will be in a better world for the fact networks like Libra exist.”
Phase One set to Launch in Q4 This Year
Speaking to Coindesk, Dante said the first phase of the Libra platform is set to launch later this year, possibly in the last quarter. The first phase will, however, be a permissioned, access-only platform, retracing the globally available idea for the platform.
This development phase will test the platform as well as iron out the regulatory compliance and licensing issues on crypto companies across the globe. Dante did not mention the second phase rollout.
Libra's Strong Growth in 2020
Last year ended with a number of companies leaving the Association due to its friction with the regulators. However, throughout 2020, Libra has welcomed several firms, including Singapore's state investor, Temasek, VC firms, Slow Ventures and Paradigm, and payments processor Checkout.com.
Notwithstanding, Daines joins a list of high-level professionals from the legacy industries to join Libra, including the latest CEO of Libra, Stuart Levey, from HSBC Bank.