Libra: France opposes the development of Facebook’s currency “on European soil”

Le Monde with AFP | Sep 12, 2019

Bruno Le Maire Minister Finance of France vows to block facebooks libra - Libra: France opposes the development of Facebook's currency "on European soil"

Bruno Le Maire expressed his hostility towards this cryptocurrency project, saying that "the monetary sovereignty of states is at stake"

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced on Thursday (September 12th) that France was refusing to authorize the development "on European soil" of libra, the cryptocurrency that Facebook wants to launch in 2020.

"Considerable financial disorder"

"The monetary sovereignty of states is at stake," said the minister at the opening of a conference of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) dedicated to the challenges of cryptocurrencies - without specifying, however, what concrete measures he wanted engage to prevent the spread of libra in Europe.

See:  Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Everything We Know

In his speech, Bruno Lemaire described as "systemic" the risks that could result from this "possible privatization of a currency (...) held by a single actor that has more than 2 billion users on the planet" . "Any failure in the functioning of this currency, in the management of its reserves, could create considerable financial disorders , " justified the Mayor, also fearing that the libra is replacing the national currency in the States where the currency is weak or has a strong devaluation.

Moreover, the minister added, "I do not see why we have been paying so much attention for years to avoiding the use of money for money laundering and the fight against the financing of terrorism, and that a currency digital as libra would escape these obligations . " "I want to say it with great clarity: in these circumstances, we can not allow the development of libra on European soil," he concluded.

Concerns of States

Facebook announced in June its intention to launch the cryptocurrency libra in 2020 - which must be managed by a foundation bringing together multiple actors and companies from Switzerland. The company has not yet unveiled all the details of the project, but has already explained that the libras could be purchased online with any type of currency, but also in cash in physical outlets - there will be no need bank account to own one.

Facebook wants to facilitate the transfer of money between two people through this currency, which will also be used to buy goods and services. The company promises instant, low-cost transactions and ensures that the currency will not be volatile, as it will be backed by a reserve of relatively stable currencies and values, such as dollars and euros.

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The project has sparked a number of questions and concerns, with the power of Facebook being unparalleled - the social network has more than 2 billion active users, but the company also has the ultra-popular WhatsApp and Instagram apps. The G7 finance ministers announced in July their intention to "act quickly" . "We can not accept that an instrument of exchange is put in place while it respects none of the prudential rules that we impose on all sovereign currencies , " said the Mayor.

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