Bank of Thailand in Talks with Facebook

A senior executive at the regulator said they are carefully examining the social media company's whitepaper

Financial authorities in Thailand are in contact with Facebook over the social media company’s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra.

Siritida Panomwan, assistant governor for payment systems policy at the Bank of Thailand, said on Friday that the social media company had requested talks with financial authorities in the south-east Asian country.

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The assistant governor also said that the central bank has set up a task force to examine Facebook’s proposed currency. That team is comprised of experts from the central bank’s foreign exchange, payments, and legal teams.

Executives at the regulator are paying particularly close attention to the social media giant’s whitepaper, Panomwan said.

“Consumer benefits and risks incurred from the digital currency are the central bank’s main focus,” added the regulator.

“We will also study the currency model, mechanism, security and consumer protection, in case any problems crop up.”

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Fake surprise

Regulators across the world have been soiling themselves since Facebook announced its proposed cryptocurrency last month.

Or have they?

This week, David Marcus, who is heading Facebook’s cryptocurrency efforts, released a statement in which he suggested governments and financial authorities had been aware of Libra for months.

“[The announcement of Libra came] after an initial consultative phase with regulators, central banks, and other organisations from all around the world,” the social media executive said in a post on Facebook.

Marcus’ statement leaves us in the unfortunate position of having to either trust central banks or Facebook. But in instances such as this, it’s worth remembering the wise words of one Arab TV guest who, when asked whether he would go to Saudi Arabia or Iran if he could only pick one of the two, said he would kill himself at the airport.

 

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