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France Intends to Block European Development of Libra

Fresh news out of Europe reveals that France intends to block the development of Libra in the continent. Specifically, the French finance minister says the potential launch of Libra could challenge EU states’ “monetary sovereignty”.

Will France block Libra development in Europe?

This news came in a CNBC report from September 12th. According to the CNBC report, France’s finance minister – Bruno Le Maire – has said that France cannot permit the launch of Facebook’s upcoming crypto in Europe.

The reason for this is supposedly that Le Maire believes that Libra could erode states’ “monetary sovereignty”. The report also goes on to recount some of Le Maire’s comments, which came at the opening of the OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum 2019.

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“All these concerns around Libra are serious. So I want to say this with a lot of clarity: I want to be absolutely clear: in these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil.”

This is not the first time that Le Maire has had some harsh words for crypto. Specifically, the French finance minister first began to question the future of Libra earlier this summer. 

At the time, Le Maire said that he would ask Facebook for special guarantees that Libra will not be exploitable for illicit activities, such as terror financing. At the time, this was widely regarded to be a significant demand – seeing as any currency can potentially be used for illicit purposes.

“Currencies should not be in the hands of private companies”

In addition to this, Le Maire has also said that the release of Libra reflects the attitude of the American social media giant. Particularly, he called it an “attribute of the sovereignty of the States”. 

As such, they argue that currencies should “remain in the hands of the States and not of the companies which answer to private interests”. This view means that Le Maire, unsurprisingly, largely pans all different cryptocurrencies.

Nonetheless, this is far from the first regulatory hurdle faced by Facebook’s Libra project. Some observers, however, hope that the social media giant’s efforts will pave the way for wider crypto adoption. 

One should also note that it is unclear whether Le Maire’s threat will actually be carried out. It will likely become more clear as the development of Libra proceeds. Facebook has, so far, seemed open to working with lawmakers to make governments more ready to accept its upcoming crypto offering.