The barrage of criticism on Facebook has rained non-stop ever since the social media giant announced the imminent launch of its Libra stablecoin. Ever since Facebook lanched Libra’s whitepaper, the digital currency has been bashed on all sides. But, it could find an ally in Thailand.
Media platform XinhuaNet reported that Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob has expressed his willingness to speak with Facebook over the prospect of allowing Libra to operate within the country.
The Central Bank chief reportedly made his opinion on the asset known at the Bangkok FinTech Fair on the day, as he said that in a bid to launch Libra in the country, Facebook already contacted the banking regulator severally.
In addition to that, Santiprabhob revealed that the Bank has already set up an exploration team to study Libra and make subsequent recommendations, although given how much they will be looking to ensure security, the research will be thorough and will most likely take time. He stressed the need to not rush into a decision just yet, as security is currently their top priority.
He also added that even in the event that they allow Libra to operate freely within the country, there is absolutely no way that the asset could serve as their official legal tender and replace the Thai baht as their currency.
It is also worth noting that Libra might face some legal difficulties in its bid to enter the Thai market. While it won’t be used in stock trading or other conventional financial services, Sumaporn Manason, a legal officer at the country’s Fiscal Policy Office, explained earlier this month that Libra currently doesn’t fall under any local legislation, and this could lead to rollout issues, if and when the currency decides to launch in Thailand.
Still, if the government and financial regulators are willing to work with Facebook, there should be a way to resolve this and provide a favorable environment for the currency’s launch. The news will no doubt come as music to Mark Zuckerberg and David Marcus’ ears, especially considering the week that they had in Capitol Hill.
Marcus, Head of Facebook’s Blockchain and its Calibra division, appeared before the United States Senate and House of Representatives on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, with the hopes of convincing members of Congress that Libra would be able to deliver on the goal of making cross border payments easier and more seamless, while also keeping users information safe.
However, try as he did, there was no way that he could overcome the negative sentiment that Facebook has pretty much built with lawmakers and the general public for the better part of two years now. The general consensus was that given the company’s history with data privacy and information misdemeanors, there should be no way for them to get access to users’ financial information.
The company will need to wait and hope for a favorable ruling from Congress (or at the very least, hope for approval on the condition of stringent regulations and government oversight). However, anyone looking to buy cryptocurrency from Facebook will need to pump the brakes for now.