French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire announced Thursday that France was refusing to allow the "European-based" development of Libra, the cryptocurrency that Facebook wants to launch in 2020, saying that "the monetary sovereignty of states is in danger. Thu".
"I want to say it with great clarity: in these circumstances, we can not allow the development of Libra on the European soil," said the minister, at the opening of an OECD conference on the challenges cryptocurrencies.
Monetary sovereignty of states is at stake, "he said in his speech, not hesitating to describe 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," said Le Mayor, also fearing that the Libra is replacing the national currency in the States where the currency is weak or experiencing a sharp devaluation.
The minister, who had already publicly expressed his doubts about Facebook's virtual currency project at the Chantilly G7 Finance in July, also expressed fears that the Libra will escape state control over the financing of terrorism.
"I do not see why we have been paying so much attention for years to avoiding any use of money for money laundering and the fight against the financing of terrorism and that a digital currency like Libra would escape these obligations," he said. he said.
With the announced creation in mid-June of a digital currency offering an alternative payment method to traditional banking channels, Facebook wants to upset the global financial system. Inspired by crypto-actives like bitcoin, it must be run by a non-profit consortium.
The project nevertheless raises serious concerns from central bankers, politicians and regulatory authorities, particularly with regard to risks to financial stability.
© 2019 AFP