Developed by Facebook stablcoin Libra faces a new obstacle – this time from the French government. The country’s Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Libra threatens the "monetary sovereignty" of European governments and that the country will stop the development of the Facebook coin in Europe.
"I want to make it absolutely clear : in the existing conditions we cannot allow the development of Libra on European soil, " Le Maire said, as reported by AFP on Thursday.
Le Maire made the comments at the opening of the Global Blockchain Policy Forum in Paris. Le Maire also said in June that Libra "cannot and should not emerge" and that "it is out of the question" that the proposed Stablecoin "become a sovereign currency."
Dante Disparte, Head of Policy and Communications at Libra, said : "In the almost three months since we announced our intention to launch Project Libra, we have been subjected to the most thorough research in the world in the field of financial technology. We welcome this research and are ready to have conversations, educate our stakeholders and incorporate their feedback into our project."
Disparte added that "today’s comments by the French Minister of Economy and Finance further underscore the importance of our ongoing work with regulators and authorities around the world."
While France probably cannot completely block Libra development, since Libra is headquartered in Switzerland, it can block Libra-supported applications. The French government could also ban the acceptance of Stablecoin in France.
Meanwhile, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) said yesterday that the project is subject to financial market infrastructure regulation, as well as additional regulatory requirements, which would cause the project to have to be licensed by FINMA. Libra hopes to get a FINMA license for the payment system to "empower billions of people, " as Facebook states.
Earlier, data protection and privacy authorities in the U.S., U.K., EU, Australia and Canada issued a joint statement saying that Facebook has had privacy problems in the past, and the Libra project further heightens concerns in that regard.
Facebook blockchain leader David Marcus recently assured U.S. senators and lawmakers that Libra will not launch until all problems are resolved. The corporation plans to launch the Stablecoin next year.