Thursday Sep 12, 2019
PARIS: France warned Thursday it will block development of Facebook´s planned Libra cryptocurrency in Europe because it threatens the "monetary sovereignty" of governments.
"I want to be absolutely clear: in these conditions, we cannot authorise the development of Libra on European soil," Le Maire said at the opening of an OECD conference on virtual, crypto currencies.
Earlier this year, Facebook unveiled plans for a new global cryptocurrency called Libra, pledging to deliver a stable virtual money that lives on smartphones and brings over a billion "unbanked" people into the financial system.
The Libra coin plan, backed by financial and nonprofit partners, represented an ambitious new initiative for the world's biggest social network with the potential to bring crypto-money out of the shadows and into the mainstream.
Facebook and some two dozen partners released a prototype of Libra as an open source code for developers interested in weaving it into apps, services or businesses ahead of a rollout as global digital money next year.
The nonprofit Libra Association based in Geneva would oversee the blockchain-based coin, maintaining a real-world asset reserve to keep its value stable.
The initiative has the potential to allow more than a billion "unbanked" people around the world access to online commerce and financial services at minimal cost, said Libra Association head of policy and communications Dante Disparte.
"We believe if you give people access to money and opportunity at the lowest cost, the way the internet itself did in the past with information, you can create a lot more stability than we have had up until now," Disparte told AFP.