Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra seems to have unsettled governments everywhere. The governor of Banque de France, Francois Villeroy de Galhau, is the latest to announce reactionary measures designed to contain the digital currency.
Task Force to Develop Crypto Regulations
According to Reuters, Villeroy de Galhau has revealed that France is forming a task force drawn from G7 member countries. The responsibility of the task force will be to ensure cryptocurrencies such as Libra are properly regulated:
“We want to combine being open to innovation with firmness on regulation. This is in everyone’s interest.”
The task force will be led by French economist and European Central Bank board member Benoit Coeure. France is currently holding the G7 presidency
Per Villeroy de Galhau, some of the concerns include the concept of stablecoins. Specifically, Villeroy de Galhau noted that regulators want to determine how fixed the exchange rates of those coins are as well as what such cryptocurrencies are stable against.
Libra Will Not Replace Our National Currencies
While France has indicated that it is not opposed to Libra as a tool for use in financial transactions, it has expressed opposition to the cryptocurrency becoming a sovereign currency. This was voiced by French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire barely hours after Libra was unveiled. Speaking in a radio interview, Le Maire stated that Libra becoming a sovereign currency “must not happen.”
In the United States, Rep. Maxine Waters who is also the chairperson of the House Financial Services Committee has expressed fears that Libra is a threat to the U.S. dollar.
Speaking in a television interview, Waters indicated that enhanced scrutiny of Facebook’s cryptocurrency was necessary to protect consumers:
“We’ve got to protect our consumers. We just can’t allow them [Libra Association – Facebook’s Geneva-based foundation subsidiary which will mint and control Libra supply] to go to Switzerland with all of its associates and begin to compete with the dollar.”
Fear of Libra Strikes Legislators and Regulators Across the Globe
Earlier, Waters had called on Facebook to hit pause on its Libra cryptocurrency project, citing the social media giant’s checkered past on privacy and the handling of user data. Specifically, Waters urged Facebook to wait for U.S. regulators and Congress to give a go-ahead before proceeding with its plans.
Also joining Waters in expressing the threat posed by Libra was Senator Sherrod Brown. In a tweet, Sen. Brown stated that with Facebook being “too big and too powerful” it should not be allowed to “run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight.”
In the UK, the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, also called for the “highest standards of regulations.” Carney was one of the world’s most notable central bankers that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met before Libra was unveiled.
In Europe’s largest and strongest economy, German politician and a Member of the European Parliament Markus Ferber has also called for a “proper regulatory framework governing the rules of virtual currencies,” warning that Facebook could transform into a “shadow bank.”