Will Facebook’s cryptocurrency venture Project Libra be the turning point for crypto-skeptic governments, or will they oppose the project? At the moment, the answer seems to be the latter.
French finance minister attacks Libra
During the past day, France’s finance minister has come out hard against Libra. What’s more, the US Senate Banking Committee has scheduled a testimony hearing regarding the project. However, these are not the only regulatory headwinds Project Libra is facing.
Yesterday, we also reported how Rep. Maxine Waters, the US Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, had requested Facebook to halt its development of Project Libra. Additionally, the head of the US Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, has since aired his views on Libra during a press conference broadcast.
Facebook’s Libra crypto has dominated the cryptocurrency news cycle ever since the project’s white paper was released. It now seems as if this will continue, at least for the foreseeable future. First and foremost, Libra has now been publicly denounced by France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire.
Le Maire: Libra ”must not happen”
Bloomberg reports that Le Maire came out against Libra in colorful and clear terms. Le Maire reportedly stated that Facebook’s Project Libra ”can’t and… must not happen”. Furthermore, he also added that he considers it to be ”out of the question” for the cryptocurrency to ”become a sovereign cryptocurrency”.
Moreover, Le Maire is said to have requested the G-7’s central bank governors and guardians, who are intrinsically tied to the traditional global monetary system, to review Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency. This group will supposedly submit a report on Libra next month.
In addition to this, the German member of the European Parliament Markus Ferber also commented on the matter. Ferber reportedly urged regulators stay on ”high alert” as Facebook makes its move into the financial services sector with Libra.
US Senate schedules testimony hearing regarding Libra
Nevertheless, US regulators have also come out equally tough against the cryptocurrency. Rep. Maxine Waters recent comments caused quite a stir. Following these remarks, the Banking Committee of the US Senate announced it would hold testimony on Libra on July 16th.
This news came in a MarketWatch report. The hearing’s title? ”Examining Facebook’s Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations”. In addition to this, the chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, has noted that the project has both ”risks and benefits”.
Specifically, Powell spoke on the subject in a press conference broadcast on PBS News Hour. He noted that he believes that society is not yet at a point where digital currencies can replace central bank currencies. As such, he argued that the Fed is ”not too concerned” about cryptocurrencies eroding the Fed’s monetary policy power.
Nevertheless, Powell admitted that the digital currency could potentially have very wide applications. Furthermore, Powell also revealed that Facebook had, in fact, discussed Project Libra with the Fed before launching it:
“[Facebook] made quite broad rounds around the world with regulators, supervisors and lots of people to discuss their plans and that certainly includes us. It’s something we’re looking at, we meet with a broad range of private sector firms all the time on financial technology and there’s just a tremendous amount of innovation going on out there.”
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the blockchain industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.