The Libra currency to be launched by Facebook has already attracted a degree of controversy. While the launch of this coin isn’t expected until 2020, a French government minister has now confirmed that its release in Europe is set to be blocked.
The comments on this matter came from Bruno Le Maire, the French Finance Minister. He was speaking at a cryptocurrency conference in Paris when he voiced the government’s concerns over the potentials risks of Libra.
Le Maire stated that they “cannot authorise the development of Libra on European soil” based on the current conditions. He went on to point out that the monetary sovereignty of European countries would be at stake.
The French minister called this a “possible privatisation of money”. He also alluded to the fact that Facebook has “more than 2 billion users on the planet.” These comments appear to reflect the fear that Libra would allow millions of people to virtually abandon their national currencies.
Why Is the Libra Currency So Controversial?
The Facebook project was officially revealed in June of this year. It is important to bear in mind that the Libra currency won’t be decentralised. Unlike Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, there will be a central authority. Facebook has appointed a company based in Switzerland to run the currency for them.
There have been fears raised about how big businesses could start to control the money we use. This could greatly reduce the power wielded by governments and central banks. If this were to happen, it would make it even more difficult for them to control their national economies.
Mark Carney is the governor of the Bank of England. He was non-committal on Libra when it was announced earlier in the year. However, he did confirm that it would need to meet the highest standards of regulation and consumer protection.
Facebook has also been in the news for issues such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal. This has led to worries over how the firm handles consumer data.
On the other hand, this type of digital currency has many supporters. Among the possible benefits is the fact that it could be used by people who currently lack access to banking facilities.
What Can We Expect to Happen Next?
At the moment, it is still unclear whether Facebook’s vision for Libra will come to fruition. There is a lot of work still to be done before it can be approved and regulated across the planet.
Given the scale of this project, it could also go a long way towards defining the way that cryptocurrencies are dealt with in the future.