Facebook’s Libra is not finding a lot of support in Europe, despite the fact that the Libra Foundation is registered in Switzerland. French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Maire has already publicized his thoughts on Libra; none of them very flattering, and he is also suggesting that Europe should simply launch its own digital currency, and take a leaf out of China’s monetary playbook.
Last week in Helsinki, Le Maire told journalists that he would discuss the feasibility of a European public digital currency with his counterparts in October. Charles Hoskinson, CEO of blockchain engineering startup IOHK, explained to Cointelegraph that a pan-EU digital currency would be a logical step for European politicians: “It would make a lot of sense to create a new type of central bank with a digital currency behind it because it just it’s just simply so much more useful. It also allows government better control and tuning over tax policy. So the fact that you could create a single digital European standard of European cash and all payments go digital and then you get high fidelity with your tax policy. It’s very attractive to politicians and it’s something they’d like.”
As has been reported before, Le Maire has concerns that Libra has inherent risks for consumers and even “the sovereignty of European states.”
As Cointelegraph says, “Given Le Maire’s rousing comments for Europe to develop its own digital currency, it is unsurprising that he is not a supporter of Libra. Furthermore, Le Maire has repeatedly called for regulators to refuse Libra’s launch in the EU.” As reported, Le Maire said, “We have to make sure that there is no risk for the consumer, it is our role as a state to protect consumers. […] It will allow Facebook to accumulate millions and millions of data again, which strengthens me in my belief that it is necessary to regulate the digital giants.”
It is almost certain that France will block Libra, but Germany isn’t friendly towards it either and the two are hoping that other EU countries will think the same way. However, this is not certain, as what benefits the EU’s larger countries is not always beneficial to the smaller ones.