Libra Reignites its Ambition, Appoints Former HSBC Exec as Head of Operational Unit 

Facebook Libra

Facebook’s Libra Association has appointed former HSBC executive James Emmett as Managing Director (MD) of the project’s operational unit, to reignite the efforts toward the launch of the cryptocurrency.

According to a Reuters report today Emmett’s appointment would become effective from October 1, 2020. 

Before now, Emmett worked at HSBC Holdings for 26 years before he resigned in February from his position as CEO of the bank’s European arm due to a strategic overhaul taking place at the time. 

Since the project announced plans to revamp its cryptocurrency ambitions, the Libra Association has gone on a hiring spree, onboarding top executives from various industries, including Steve Bunnell, former General Counsel at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

Emmett is not the only top HSBC official that has joined Libra. In May, the project appointed the bank’s former chief legal officer Stuart Levey, to head the Libra Association, the official body that oversees the project. 

Levey commented on the development, saying he is confident that Emmett’s appointment to head the project’s operational unit would ensure that the Libra vision becomes a reality. 

Regulatory battle

Since Facebook unveiled plans to launch its cryptocurrency in mid-2019, the firm has received several backlashes from global financial regulators. They believe that Facebook’s entrance into the crypto space could spell doom for the global financial system. 

The regulators also believe that granting the social media giant the approval to launch its project would see Facebook function as a central bank considering its large user base, which consists of more than 2.7 billion active users, at press time.  

In trying to convince global regulators that it is not a threat to the world’s financial system, the Libra Association announced in April that it would modify the project from being a single token into multiple stablecoins with each backed the national currency of individual countries.

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