May 6, 2020 / 4:57 PM / 21 days ago

Facebook's Libra appoints HSBC legal chief Stuart Levey as CEO

(Reuters) - Libra Association, the entity managing the Facebook Inc-led effort to build global digital currency Libra, on Wednesday named Stuart Levey as its first chief executive officer.

Levey is currently serving as Chief Legal Officer of HSBC.

The prospect of Facebook’s 2.5 billion users adopting Libra has led to intense scrutiny from global regulators, with many worried its launch could erode national control over money.

Libra’s most prominent original backers, including payments giants Mastercard Inc, Visa Inc and PayPal Holdings Inc, also ditched the project in the wake of the scrutiny.

In April, its governing body said Libra will be linked to individual national currencies and overseen by global watchdogs, in a scaled-back revamp it hopes will win regulatory approval.

The original plan was for Libra, which was unveiled last June, to be backed by a wide mixture of currencies and government debt. But central banks and regulators feared the cryptocurrency could destabilise monetary policy, facilitate money laundering and erode users’ privacy, with some threatening to block it.

Libra, which had planned to launch by the end of June, now aims to do so between mid-November and the end of the year.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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