It’s too early to tell if the Libra is security. That is the opinion of the chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Heath Tarbert, who said it is not yet clear what kind of cryptocurrency product it will be. This includes information about the asset being or not a security.
In an interview with CNBC, Tarbert drew a parallel between Facebook’s currency and the bitcoin, which he said has existed for 10 years, and it is well accepted and understood. “The CFTC is able to classify this not as a security, but as a commodity. Libra, on the other hand, is a fundamentally different product, but currently is in a state of flux”, he said.
The CFTC president also pointed out that Libra is developing and there are a lot of unanswered questions. “Also regarding the way it is structured, linking it directly to a set of national currencies – a very different product”, he said.
CFTC has already been discussing whether the Libra is a security
Libra had already been the subject of discussion at the CFTC when the institution’s former president, Gary Gensler, said the cryptocurrency should in fact be regulated as a security. Still, we’ll probably still have to wait for a CFTC decision on Libra’s status, at least until the stablecoin is launched.
The launch is expected to be in the middle of next year, if the project manages to overcome the regulatory hurdles it has encountered.
Tarbert also talked about the perception that the U.S. is not seen as global leaders when it comes to blockchain regulation. “I don’t think web are at the top of the list, but maybe we are not at the bottom”.
According to him, the directions of the Libra association are a good example of such. “They could have chosen anywhere in the world to settle down. They chose Switzerland. My understanding is that a second option was Singapore”.
However, Tarbert said he is working to ensure that the U.S. is a leader, as costs are potentially high if the country falls behind others. “I think whoever ends up leading this technology will end up writing the rules of the road to the rest of the world”, he said.