Zuckerberg Tackles KYC and Regulation in Leaked Libra Transcript

Mark Zuckerberg Libra stablecoin Calibra cryptocurrency

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has addressed concerns about regulation and know-your-customer (KYC) provisions around the launch of their stablecoin, Libra.

In transcripts from a leaked internal meeting, Zuckerberg is reported to have set out views on how Libra should tackle these challenges, ahead of its proposed rollout in 2020.

To date, the project has come in for extensive criticism, namely from regulators and central banks worldwide concerned about the impact of the cryptocurrency on the mainstream global financial system.

In the transcript, Zuckerberg acknowledges these public issues, while suggesting progress behind the scenes has been more straightforward.

“The public things, I think, tend to be a little more dramatic. But a bigger part of it is private engagement with regulators around the world, and those, I think, often are more substantive and less dramatic.”

Specifically addressing KYC and the concerns around illegitimate use of the cryptocurrency, he said Facebook, Calibra (the subsidiary developing the Libra wallet) and the Libra Association would have to do more to verify users’ true identities.

“We already focus a lot on real identity, across especially Facebook, so there’s even more that we need to do in order to have this kind of a product.”

He also spoke to concerns around money laundering and terrorist financing, which he said will play an increasing role as the project moves toward launch.

“There’s a lot of important issues that need to be dealt with in preventing money laundering, preventing financing of terrorists and people who the different governments say you can’t do business with.”

Zuckerberg went on to say that the firm would continue to be more open and consultative, in the hope of avoiding repeat PR incidents like the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

“But part of what we’re trying to do overall on these big projects now that touch very socially important aspects of society is have a more consultative approach.”

Facebook’s Libra has been the subject of intense discussion in the months since it was announced, with the eventual launch expected to introduce millions of new users globally to cryptocurrency for the first time.

The leaked comments show how Facebook is hoping to overcome some of the challenges and concerns posed by regulators, which could otherwise interrupt launch plans for 2020.