Singapore’s Temasek joins the Facebook-backed Libra

Singapore’s Temasek joins the Facebook-backed Libra


A Facebook cryptocurrency libra logo seen displayed on a smartphone.

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The global Facebook-backed digital currency project Libra has a new supporter: Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings. 

Temasek was one of three organizations named Thursday as the latest members to join the initiative by the Libra Association, an independent group based in Switzerland set up to manage the digital currency project. Crypto investor Paradigm and private equity firm Slow Ventures were the other two new members. 

Facebook introduced its vision for libra last year as an alternative global digital payment system where a single token would be backed by multiple fiat currencies. That was promptly criticized by regulators who worried if the project went mainstream, it would drastically alter or undermine their roles and disrupt the financial system, giving Facebook, a company with a history of privacy scandals, control over their citizens’ resources. 

A number of payments companies have pulled out of the project, including Visa, Mastercard and PayPal. That makes Temasek, which has a portfolio value of 313 billion Singapore dollars (around $219 billion), one of the more prominent backers of libra. British payments start-up joined the project in April. 

Temasek “brings a differentiated position as an Asia-focused investor,” the Libra Association said.

“Our participation in the Libra Association as a member will allow us to contribute towards a regulated global network for cost effective retail payments,” Chia Song Hwee, deputy CEO at Temasek, said in a statement. “Many developments in the space excite us – we look forward to further exploring the potential of the technology.”

To win over regulators, Facebook in April took a more scaled-down approach for the project. 

CNBC’s Ryan Browne contributed to this report. 


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