Facebook’s crypto boss wants ‘benefit of the doubt’ from regulators

Facebook’s top crypto executive says the social network’s digital currency deserves the “benefit of the doubt” from regulators.

David Marcus, the head of Facebook Financial, or F2, said Tuesday at a conference in Singapore that he hopes to see the company’s cryptocurrency ambitions get off the ground next year.

“I don’t think what we are asking for is immediate trust,” Marcus said. “What we’re asking for is at least to have the benefit of the doubt.”

The project has received intense political backlash since it was announced, with regulators and central banks around the world raising concerns that it could upset financial stability and erode mainstream power over money.

Marcus said that Facebook has made many adjustments to its plans for the currency, at the expense of creating “all kinds of complications in the execution of this vision,” which he argued should give naysayers hope about Facebook’s “intentions and what we plan to do here.”

Facebook rebranded its cryptocurrency last week from Libra to Diem, which it said in a blog post signified “a new day for the project.”

Reuters last month reported that the Diem Association that will issue the stablecoin will launch a single digital coin backed one-for-one by the dollar rather than multi-currency coins.

The moves represent a major cutback in the project’s ambitions. Stablecoins are designed to avoid the volatility typical of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, making them in theory more suitable for payments and money transfers.

The Diem Association, of which Facebook is one of 27 members, is currently seeking the go-ahead from Switzerland’s markets watchdog to issue a series of stablecoins backed by individual traditional currencies, as well as a token based on the currency-pegged stablecoins.

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