Report: Facebook Seeks BitLicense From New York State Regulator

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Social media giant Facebook has applied for a cryptocurrency business license to use its announced virtual currency Libra in New York, according to a report by Reuters on June 28

New York requires a special license for crypto operations called the BitLicense, which is a product of the state’s finance regulator, the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS). 

According to the report, Facebook has also been in contact with regulators in England and Switzerland, presumably to discuss the terms of Libra compliance. 

Facebook is reportedly aiming to launch Libra by 2020, and a spokesperson for the social media firm remarked:

“The scrutiny that we’ve seen is something that we expected and welcome… We announced this early by design in order to have this discourse in the open and gather feedback.”

However, the scope of regulatory compliance for Facebook’s aims may include thousands of different standards to meet. Sean Park, Founder and Chief Investment Officer at venture capital firm Anthemis is quoted as saying:

“They will not get a free pass anywhere… And, given their intention to be global, they will ultimately need literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of licenses from hundreds of different regulators across the globe.”

As per the report, Libra has been met with some alarm by United States lawmakers, due to its history of user privacy violations and sheer size. 

As reported by Cointelegraph, Facebook representatives are scheduled to testify on Libra before Congress on July 16 and 17. 

Chairwoman Rep. Maxine Waters additionally has called on Facebook to put a hold on Libra developments until the hearings are completed:

“Given the company’s troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action.”