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France opposes development of Facebook's Libra currency in Europe

Christian Fernsby |
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire on Thursday warned that Facebook's cryptocurrency Libra would pose a "systemic risk" to the sovereignty of governments, stressing that the development of Libra would not be authorized on European soil.

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The monetary sovereignty of countries is at stake from a possible privatization of money ... by a sole actor with more than 2 billion users on the planet," said Le Maire at the OECD's (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) Global Blockchain Policy Forum here.

"This eventual privatization of money contains risks of abuse of dominant position, risks to sovereignty, and risks for consumers and for companies," he said.

"Any failure in the functioning of this currency, in the management of its reserves could create considerable financial disorders," he warned.

The French minister noted that the proposed digital currency might also weaken governments' control over their monetary policies and raise regulatory and security concerns related to money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

"I want to be absolutely clear: in these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil," he said.

On June 18, Facebook unveiled its plan to move into e-commerce and global payment by introducing a new global cryptocurrency. Called Libra, it is set to be launched in the first half of 2020.

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