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Facebook co-founder says Libra could shift monetary clout to private companies: FT

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Small toy figures are seen on representations of virtual currency in front of the Libra logo in this illustration picture, June 21, 2019. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s Libra cryptocurrency would hand over much of the control of monetary policy from central banks to private companies, the company’s co-founder Chris Hughes said in an opinion piece in the Financial Times on Friday.

“If global regulators don’t act now, it could very soon be too late,” Hughes said.

Hughes also said the corporations that would oversee the new currency would put their private interests – profits and influence – ahead of public ones.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The social media giant revealed plans on Tuesday to launch a cryptocurrency called Libra and linked up with 28 partners in a Geneva-based entity called the Libra Association, which will govern the new digital coin set to launch in the first half of 2020.

Hughes, a former roommate of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, had earlier called for a break-up of the social network in an opinion piece in the New York Times in May. Facebook, then, rejected here Hughes’ call to split the company in three.

The company has been under scrutiny from regulators around the world over data sharing practices as well as hate speech and misinformation on its networks. Some U.S. lawmakers have pushed for action to break up big tech companies as well as federal privacy regulation.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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via Reuters