Syedur Rahman, of business crime solicitors Rahman Ravelli, argues that nobody should be surprised by this stance.

Facebook's planned digital currency Libra should not go ahead until serious concerns about it have been addressed, according to the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that Libra raises many concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability. He made his statement during his semi-annual testimony on monetary policy to the US House of Representatives Financial Services Committee.

Mr Powell's belief that Libra "cannot go forward" until such concerns are addressed came as the proposed cryptocurrency faces increased scrutiny from legal and financial figures around the world.

The Federal Reserve Chairman said that any regulatory review of the project needed to be "patient and careful" and emphasised that existing rules are not appropriate for digital currencies.

He added: "It's something that doesn't fit neatly or easily within our regulatory scheme. It needs a careful look, so I strongly believe we all need to be taking our time with this."

Facebook responded to his comments by saying it was "very much aligned with the Chairman around the need for public discourse on this" and added that the announcement about Libra was made "so that we could engage in constructive discourse on this and get feedback."

While the public pronouncements that have been made by Mr Powell have attracted headlines, they should not be greeted with any great surprise.

This is an expected response from the US Federal Reserve. Naturally, its number one priority will be consumer protection and the integrity of the US markets and so it is understandable that it voices a need for caution.

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