Hong Kong’s chief securities regulator is calling on the world regulators to get on the same page when it comes to Facebook’s Libra to avoid the “real risk of regulatory arbitrage.”
“If a retail stablecoin is approved in one jurisdiction, whether as a security, payment system, fund, trading platform or another category (or a combination of these), it could easily go global very quickly if it rides on the back of the huge user-base of a Big Tech platform,” Ashley Alder, chief executive officer of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) said at Hong Kong Fintech week.
He added that even if Libra never comes to fruition, it has already put a spotlight on the crypto market.
“In 2018, the crypto world was seen to be of marginal importance to the global financial system. The Financial Stability Board, which is basically the G20’s financial regulatory arm, concluded last year that, although blockchain ‘currencies’ such as Bitcoin were problematic from an investor protection angle, they did not yet pose any significant financial stability risks,” he said. “But then came Facebook’s Libra, and the international regulatory community had to get its act together very rapidly.”
In other news, Webjet, the owner of WebBeds, has announced the launch of Rezchain, a new blockchain-based technology that can find and eliminate discrepancies in hotel booking transactions.
Rezchain works by receiving a daily update of all bookings between two Rezchain connected parties. Whenever there is a discrepancy, an email alert will be sent to both parties so they can correct the issue as fast as possible.
“Settlement between hotel suppliers and travel partners can be a complex, time consuming and ultimately costly process. With multiple IT systems speaking different languages, mistakes are probable, and the default position is often to write off debts when the situation is not clear. For years, the industry considered it a cost of doing business. But, with Rezchain, it doesn’t have to be that way any longer,” John Guscic, managing director, Webjet, said in a press release.
And technology investment pioneer Glenn Hutchins is betting on blockchain. In comments at the Reuters Global Investment Outlook 2020 Summit in New York, Hutchins said that he believes blockchain-based payments could revolutionize finance.
“Imagine if you can move anything of value … around the world at the speed of light at no cost,” he said. “You might think I’m crazy, but one of the things that led to my investment career was (believing) people saying in the mid-1990s ‘we are going to move information around the world at the speed of light at no cost.’”