At a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Helsinki, Bruno Le Maire announced that next month, he would discuss the potential for a European public digital currency which could match Facebook’s Libra.
He remarked that Europe should consider its own “public digital currency,” while expressing doubts about Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans. Further, he reemphasized the risks of financial stability posed by the proposed cryptocurrency of the social media giant and stated his concern about “the sovereignty of European states.”
He also recommended the European bloc to advance with their work of reducing the costs of cross-border payments. Real-time payments have been around in the European zone since 2017, but only half of the banks have adopted the scheme, and the project has failed to expand beyond domestic payments.
Apart from these recommendations, Le Maire stated that the bloc is required to rethink its strategy of regulating cryptocurrencies in the European Nation. He continued:
“We should also think of the best way of reducing the cost of international financial transactions. We should think about the possibility of reducing the delays of the financial international transactions either within the EU or outside the EU,”
Le Maire repeatedly expressed his disapproval of the launch of Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra in the soil of the European Nation and refused to authorize it. He argued that the current status of limbo, where regulators are debating over whether to regulate cryptocurrencies as securities, payment services or currencies — must be settled through the creation of a sturdy and familiar framework. He vigorously declared that lingering issues about Facebook’s project imply that
“in these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil.”
Considering the legal risk, a spokeswoman for the European Commission stated that
“with the publicly available information on Libra, it is currently not possible to say which exact EU rules would apply.”
Le Maire had previously stated that he would ask Facebook for complete assurance, about Libra’s activities and guarantee that it would not be exploited for illegal activities.
While many regulative and legal issues are still to be resolved, the European Union’s Fifth Anti-Money Laundering Directive was propelled into action on July 2018. It has revised the legal structure so that the financial watchdogs of the European Nation can use it to moderate the risks of terrorist financing and money laundering in the cryptocurrency sector.