France Vows to Block Facebook Libra Cryptocurrency in Europe

"The monetary sovereignty of states is at stake," Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said at an OECD conference on Thursday.

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French economic minister Bruno Le Maire has declared that his government intends to block the development of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency in Europe because of systematic threats it poses to financial security and stability.

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French newspaper, Le Figaro revealed Le Maire’s remarks at an OECD conference dedicated to cryptocurrencies, Le Maire said the risks are simply too great and trust in Facebook too low.

“I want to say it with great clarity: in these circumstances, we can not allow the development of libra on European soil,” said the minister at the opening of an OECD conference on the challenges of cryptocurrencies.

“The monetary sovereignty of countries is at stake from possible privatisation of money … by a sole actor with more than 2 billion users on the planet,” he said.

Le Maire has been outspoken about his opposition to Libra in recent months. But while it appears he now wants to get all of Europe on board, it wasn’t clear from his remarks which organizational body or mechanism would create a continent-wide ban.

Still, his statement was a sign of the immense distrust still haunting the social media giant.

Herbert Sim, Head of Business Development, at the market leader in ISO-Certified FX and Crypto Solutions Broctagon Fintech Group, told Blockchain News that Libra represents the first stable digital currency which could be a feasible alternative for the mass market.

“It’s no wonder France feels threatened. And they’re not the only ones responding in the same way, countries like the US and India seem to be actively working against crypto.”

“At the same time, others are throwing themselves into the race, with China advocating for Bitcoin and creating its own digital currency. It’s clear that some are recognising the opportunity cost of dismissing the crypto market.”

“It’s interesting that Bitcoin prices haven’t really shifted since the announcement. It seems prices are becoming less dependent on the actions of central authorities. This is a positive sign for the crypto markets. As we look set for a global recession, we could see the previous “Wild West” of the investment world become a safe haven.”

Besides Facebook, backers of Libra include the payment companies Visa, MasterCard and PayPal, as well as the ride-hailing apps Lyft and Uber.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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