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Royal Bank of Scotland Holding Talks with Facebook’s Libra

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
The Royal Bank of Scotland is in discussions with Facebook about its planned cryptocurrency, the Libra. The topic of conversation was how the two entities could partner together.
It’s been confirmed that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is in talks with Facebook over the Libra. Could the two be forming a possible partnership?

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Facebook Looks for Banks to Hold Its Libra Reserves

Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency is a stablecoin which means that it will be backed by real fiat currency. As stated in the Libra’s whitepaper, these currency reserves will be distributed across many different banks and entities to ensure complete transparency and auditing. One of these reserves could be held in the Bank of Scotland which will inevitably the topic of conversation for these recent talks. The Royal Bank of Scotland is one of the UK’s “big four” banks with over 18M customers and a market capitalization of £27.7 billion. However, it’s still too early to be entirely sure where these talks will go. According to the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Head of Innovation, Kevin Hanley, “there’s no punchline yet” and that they’re talking a “wait and find out” approach. Hanley did not rule out that the Royal Bank of Scotland could be a part of the Libra Association someday. However, there are other ways for them to get involved, he said. The conversation was not about paying £10 million to run a node; instead, it was likely about Facebook’s currency reserves. According to Hanley, the Royal Bank of Scotland also brings other things to the table for Facebook such as easier foreign currency exchanges.

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RBS and Facebook have Longstanding Ties

“We know the Facebook guys very well. Our relationship with Facebook goes back a long way,” Hanley told reporters. The RBS-owned Natwest was one of the first to adopt Facebook at Work across its organization. So, Facebook and RBS have a history of working together. It remains to be seen how RBS plans to incorporate itself into the Libra project. Aside from being a member of its Association, the bank may opt to be involved in secondary markets or foreign currency exchanges. Regardless, the discussions are a positive step for the Libra. Its talks with a central bank like RBS indicates that it is completely serious about its planned launch in 2020, despite the regulatory pushback its been experiencing. What do you think was the topic of conversation between RBS and Facebook? Let us know your thoughts below.


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