Microsoft President Says Fintech Firms Should Leave Digital Currencies to Governments

Tech giant Microsoft Corp. President Brad Smith criticized financial technology firms attempting to issue currencies, saying governments are best suited to play this role, according to a Bloomberg report.

  • Speaking at a Bank for International Settlements conference on Wednesday, Smith said he is not a big fan of encouraging Microsoft to participate in the issuance of a digital currency, the report said.

  • “The money supply almost uniquely needs to be managed by an entity that is responsible to the public and thinks really only about the public interest, and that means governments,” said Smith.

  • One such private firm trying to issue its own digital currency is social media giant Facebook, which is seeking to launch the stablecoin diem (originally called libra).

  • The prospect caused policymakers and regulators from around the globe to express their concerns over potential privacy and money-laundering risks, as well as the possible loss of control over the monetary system.

  • “I think the world has been better served by what has been a movement over centuries to put that [digital currency] in the hands of governments. We’re not a bank and we don’t want to become a bank and we don’t want to compete with our customers who are banks,” said Smith.

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