When social networking giant Facebook announced Project Libra earlier this year, American financial regulators and even Members of Congress voiced strong concerns about the company's digital currency ambitions. In Switzerland, a country where conservative views of privacy mix easily with financial freedom, regulators are not worried about the impact that a Facebook cryptocurrency would have on the global economy.
During an October interview with the Reuters news agency, the director of Switzerland's financial authority explained that Facebook has thus far provided considerable transparency in relation to Project Libra, and his assessment is that there is nothing to be concerned about. Mark Branson further explained that the Libra digital currency, which will apparently be pegged to the average exchange value of major fiat such as the United States dollar and the euro, would be subject to all other monetary instruments used in Switzerland.
Despite this neutral view of Libra, Branson feels that other digital currency projects that operate in obfuscation are the kind of issues that Swiss regulators are more concerned about. While Branson did not refer to any currency in particular, privacy-focused tokens such as Cardano and Monero are known to operate blockchains that explicitly offer plausible deniability of transactions.
It should be noted that Switzerland's opinion of Project Libra is not shared by other European jurisdictions. While U.S. lawmakers are worried about the track record of Facebook, a company that has gone through various scandals related to leaking personal information, disseminating fake news, and allowing advertisers to spread political propaganda, Germany is more concerned about what regulators call "parallel currencies," which is what Project Libra would provide.
What German financial regulators fear is that cryptocurrencies such as Libra could reach massive circulation, a situation that would challenge the traditional control that governments and central banks have over sovereign currencies. In the case of Libra, Facebook may have to apply some level of centralization, which would make the token similar to Ripple and different than Bitcoin, which runs on a decentralized blockchain. This level of control by a private entity is what German regulators are more concerned with.