France’s Minister of the Economy and Finance has said the country will block the development of Libra in Europe as it threatens “monetary sovereignty.”
Bruno Le Maire stated that he had serious concerns about the disruption the planned Facebook-led cryptocurrency could have on governments’ economic power at a meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. “This eventual privatization of money contains risks of abuse of dominant position, risks to sovereignty and risks for consumers and for companies,” said Le Maire on the subject of Libra.
Libra would be decentralized like all other cryptocurrencies; however, control of the heavily scrutinized coin would be in the hands of a Swiss-based non-profit organization. “Any breakdown in the functioning of this currency, in the management of its reserves, could create considerable financial disruption. All these concerns about Libra are serious. I therefore want to say with plenty of clarity: in these conditions, we cannot authorise the development of Libra on European soil,” continued the French minister, stopping short of offering a plan on how to do so.
In a further setback to Libra in its attempts to launch in Europe, German parliamentarian Thomas Heilmann, who is responsible for blockchain policy within his CDU party, reaffirmed the apprehensions of his French counterpart by saying “no private entity can claim monetary power, which is inherent to the sovereignty of nations.” The European Commission responded by saying it would assess all aspects of Libra to further understand the potential issues raised by Le Maire.
Today’s news continues to add to Libra’s regulatory misery, following a warning from the US Treasury that the cryptocurrency must comply with the highest regulatory compliance standards before it is launched. With this intense series of regulatory setbacks, coupled with news that some investors were getting cold feet and considering withdrawing their stake, one could begin to wonder if Libra will ever see the light of day.
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