Aust regulators to probe Facebook currency

Australia’s financial and consumer watchdogs aren’t happy with Facebook’s proposed global digital currency Libra, also known as the “Zuck Buck”.

The eight regulators, including the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, plan to investigate Libra after the social media giant failed to address concerns about the currency.

There are fears the cryptocurrency could enhance money laundering and expose social media users to more scams and privacy issues.


The Australia regulators met with Facebook executives in the US in October but weren’t satisfied with the outcome, The Australian reported on Wednesday.

Documents from ASIC published under freedom of information laws and cited by The Australian say Libra poses “many risks and threats” to Australian financial markets.

The Office of the Australian Information Commission, one of the regulators looking into Libra, has suggested the agencies investigate independently.

Other agencies involved include Australia’s anti-money laundering regulator, Austrac, and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

In light of the backlash against the currency, several big companies initially involved have withdrawn, including Paypal, Visa and Mastercard.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to launch the currency in 2020, allowing Facebook and WhatsApp users to send money to each other, across borders, at low or no cost.

© AAP 2019

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