Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency appoints new CFO for its payments unit

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Facebook-backed Libra cryptocurrency project has added former HSBC executive Ian Jenkins as its new Chief Financial Officer who will manage the planned digital currency’s payments system.

The Geneva-based Libra Association, a 21-member independent non-profit which is the apex body for all decisions pertaining to the Libra cryptocurrency project stated that the new CFO will also don the additional responsibility of a chief risk officer for its Libra Networks.

A former business finance head and group general manager at HSBC, Mr. Jenkins has also rendered his service to global financial giants Credit Suisse and Santander.

The new executive’s appointment happens to take place amid rising resistance against stablecoins, a type of cryptocurrency like Libra led by financial leaders from the world’s seven biggest economies insisting that such forms of digital currencies which are often backed by traditional assets should not be allowed to function until proper regulations are at place.

The Libra project, which faced some early criticism from regulators and central banks across the world citing it as a mechanism that could upset financial stability and erode mainstream power over money was relaunched by Facebook in a slimmed-down form last April.

The digital currency will now attempt to issue a series of stablecoins which are backed by individual traditional currencies.

Since its payments license application in Switzerland last April, the project has hired a number of senior executives, most of them are specialized in financial compliance and have ties with the U.S. government and authorities.

Mr. Jenkins is not the project’s first recruitment from HSBC and follows earlier appointments of James Emmett as Libra Networks lead and Mr. Stuart Levey as its CEO.

While Mr. Emmett served the British financial institution as its European head, Mr. Levey was HSBC’s former chief legal officer who has also spent considerable time as a U.S. Treasury official during the Bush and Obama administrations.