French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire stated the nation will block Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, after recent concerns regarding the threat to the sovereignty of national currencies in the EU.
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“I want to be absolutely clear: In these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil,” stated Le Maire, during the opening of an Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conference on blockchain.
“It would be a global currency, held by a single player, which has more than two billion users around the world. The monetary sovereignty of states is under states is under threat.”
Le Maire’s concerns revolve around an idea that Libra may “substitute itself as a national currency” causing financial disruption.
“I don’t see why we should dedicate so much effort to combating money laundering and terrorist financing for so many years to see a digital currency like Libra completely escape those regulatory efforts,” he said.
Earlier this week, the Libra Association stated it will “maintain Anti-Money Laundering (AML) guidelines, which its members will be expected to comply with if they choose to provide financial services on the Libra network.”
“The association will set standards for its members to maintain AML and anti-fraud programs, and to cooperate with legitimate law enforcement investigations.”
Le Maire’s anti-crypto views have remained consistent, as this is not the first time he has commented on Libra.
In June, during the debut of Libra, the French minister stated “it is out of question’’ that Libra should “become a sovereign currency. It can’t and it must not happen.”
According to a CNBC report, Le Maire stated today that he has discussed the possibility of a “public digital currency” with outgoing European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi and IMF Chairman Christine Lagarde, who will take over the ECB later this year.