School of Law

Opinion: A new era of global payments is coming

2 September 2019

Following the launch of Facebook's digital currency, Libra, Professor of Financial Law and Ethics at Queen Mary University of London, Sir William Blair and Prof Emilios Avgouleas, chair in international banking law and finance at University of Edinburgh, have penned an opinion piece on the evolution of currency and payments.

"Following the unveiling of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency and the resolution of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) to launch its own digital currency we could confidently predict the dawn of a new generation of means of payment which on both a retail and wholesale basis are bound to obliterate today’s slow and expensive payment systems. These developments can lead to a new era of global payments as well as give rise to a number of new problems especially as regards financial stability and monetary policy. Still it seems that the idea of a global means of payment that has the characteristics of a global currency is suddenly around the corner.

The announcement of Libra itself has led to some emphatic reactions ranging around concerns about user privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, and financial stability — a brief list but very comprehensive."

Read the full piece here [PDF 361KB]