Crypto Corner: Libra Hires HSBC Banking Chief

Don't fear the Libra - worry about retail central bank digital currency insteadFacebook Libra project

Adam vettese (eToro) | The Libra Association has hired former HSBC European head James Emmett as the managing director of Libra Networks — the operating company subsidiary of the association. Libra said on Thursday that Emmett, who spent more than 25 years at HSBC and recently stepped down as the CEO of HSBC Bank plc and Europe, is joining in October. Stuart Levey, CEO of the Libra Association, who also joined from HSBC recently, reportedly, said Emmett’s leadership “will help make Libra’s vision a reality.”

Levey himself joined as chief executive earlier this year, having been the chief legal officer of HSBC. Levey is a former head of the US Treasury’s department overseeing terrorism and national security, where he was known for using the dollar as a weapon for cutting off funding to terrorist groups.

Libra was first announced by Facebook in 2019 as an independent organisation which would create a single global digital currency. However, Facebook only accounts for around 10% of its funding, with partners like Uber and Spotify also major backers.

The project has been hit by the departure of a series of partner companies including PayPal, Visa, Mastercard and Stripe. It has also faced regulatory hurdles, forcing to adjust its plans so that it now aims to launch multiple coins linked to countries’ existing currencies.