Libra Association Appoints Stuart Levey As First CEO

The Libra Association, a consortium of major financial partners of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project, has appointed Stuart Levey, a former under secretary with the U.S. government, as its first chief executive officer.

He will join the Libra Association later this summer and will be based out of Washington, D.C. Levey will serve as the overall strategic leader for the project.

Levey has served as the first Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence during the Bush and Obama Administrations. He was instrumental in setting U.S. and international policy to combat illicit finance. He is currently serving as Chief Legal Officer of HSBC Holdings.

Levey also served in several senior roles at the U.S. Department of Justice, including as the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General. He joined the Justice Department in 2001 after 11 years in private practice.

His vast experience is expected to help the Association at a time when it has initiated a payment system license under the regulatory supervision of Switzerland’s Financial Markets Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in mid-April.

The Association is currently working to create a blockchain-based payment system supporting financial inclusion and responsible financial services innovation.

Geneva, Switzerland-based Libra Association was formed as an independent not-for-profit organization by the initial 28 financial backers of the Libra cryptocurrency project in June 2019. They were to invest around $10 million each.

However, seven of the 28 initial members, including most of the payment firms, backtracked as they did not want to be publicly seen to be backing the project, fearing regulatory scrutiny.

The companies who withdrew support for the project include Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Stripe, eBay, and Booking Holdings. PayU is the only payments firm left in the association. Few others have joined recently with Canadian e-commerce giant Shopify being the latest.

Faceboook has already launched the Libra stablecoin and payments network, along with its corresponding Calibra wallet last year.

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