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France will block Libra in Europe

French finance minister Mr Bruno Le Maire said that France will block the development of Libra in Europe as it currently stands

13 September 2019

Libra is a planned global cryptocurrency launched by Facebook in a White Paper published on 18 June 2019.

Libra raises a systemic risk 

French finance minister Mr Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday 12 September at the OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum that France will block the development of Libra in Europe as it currently stands because it threatens the "monetary sovereignty" of governments. Mr Le Maire also cited systemic financial risks, AML-CTF risks, and the potential for abuse of market dominance as reasons not to support Facebook's future cryptocurrency.

Libra not a 'launch the system and then you will see later' project

Speaking to the same audience, Libra Association's COO & Deputy Managing Director Mr Bertrand Perez responded to Mr Le Maire, reminding the public that Libra is just a project as of now. Mr Perez argued that they will not launch Libra without addressing the regulators' questions and concerns.

In this respect, Mr Perez noted that FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator, issued a statement on 11 September confirming that Geneva-based Libra Association should seek a payment system licence in Switzerland. He said the Libra Association is willing to be subject to such type of licence and comply with the resulting regulatory requirements and obligations.

All Forum's sessions and workshops are accessible in video format on the OECD website.

We have previously addressed some of the challenges Libra might face in France as well as the more global challenges and specific tax concerns.