Trump fires a broadside at Facebook’s online currency: US president demands firm seeks a banking charterBy Tom Witherow For The Daily Mail Published: 16:51 EDT, 12 July 2019 | Updated: 16:51 EDT, 12 July 2019 President Trump has launched a scathing attack on Facebook – saying its new online currency is not real money and must be regulated.The US president demanded the company seeks a banking charter and make itself subject to the same tough rules followed by finance firms.Facebook has alarmed critics with a plan to launch online money called Libra. It is modelled on bitcoin and other so-called cryptocurrencies. US president Donald Trump demanded Facebook seeks a banking charter and make itself subject to the same rules followed by finance firms if it launches a digital currencyBut it is feared the move will concentrate even more power in the hands of the social network, giving it access to vast amounts of information about users’ finances and allowing it to dodge rules meant to prevent exploitation and keep the system safe.In a series of tweets, Trump said: ‘I am not a fan of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.’If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new banking charter and become subject to all banking regulations, just like other banks.’Facebook announced last month it would launch Libra in 2020 to speed up payments between its platforms and online shops. The cryptocurrency is to be backed by reserves of real-world money such as dollars, making it more stable than the likes of bitcoin which is prone to huge swings.Bitcoin was created in 2008 as an alternative to currencies controlled by governments and banks. The market has faced allegations of money laundering and terrorist financing, and remains largely unregulated.Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England, has also warned on Libra saying the Bank approaches it ‘with an open mind but not an open door’.His opposite number in the US, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell, said Libra cannot move forward unless it addresses concerns over privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability.
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