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Facebook’s Libra coin is a ‘long way from launch’, Company COO Sheryl Sandberg Says

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Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said the company’s planned cryptocurrency coin, Libra, is a “long way from launch.”

“Regulators have concerns,” Sandberg acknowledged Wednesday in an interview with Bloomberg TV at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in France Wednesday. “We’re already meeting with them. We know we have a lot of work to do, but this was an announcement of what we would like to do with a roadmap for people to jump in and help us do it.”

On Tuesday, the social media giant unveiled plans for a new global financial system based on a stablecoin – a digital currency that’s supported by established government-backed currencies and securities. The project, more than a year in the making and including 27 partners, was immediately met with criticism from lawmakers in the US and Europe. Some representatives in Washington questioned whether it would have appropriate oversight, while the French finance minister said he was concerned about money laundering and terrorism finance.

The new currency isn’t expected to launch until at least next year, Facebook said Tuesday.

“We announced this early,” Sandberg said. “We know this is a heavy, heavily regulated space. We need to talk to people, meet with people and that’s what we’re doing and we are then going to launch.”

On the subject of acquisitions, given broad regulatory scrutiny of Facebook’s handling of users’ personal data and calls from the US government to break up the company, Sandberg said: “We’re certainly not in the market with big acquisitions, but a lot of the acquisitions we made weren’t big at the time.”

When Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, Sandberg recalled that it had only 13 employees at the time.

© 2019 Bloomberg LP

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