France is reportedly planning to block the development of Facebook’s libra cryptocurrency.
AFP reported that France will aim to prevent the social media giant expanding its payment project in Europe.
Facebook announced the libra project in June this year, saying it will be a “global currency and financial infrastructure” powered by a version of blockchain – the technology that underpins bitcoin.
The social media giant describes it as a so-called stablecoin, which means it is tied to a fixed asset in order to reduce the kind of volatility seen with bitcoin’s huge fluctuations in value.
However, project has faced backlash from regulators and politicians across the globe over concerns that the currency could be used for money laundering and financial terrorism.
Yesterday it was reported that the Libra Association – the group of companies that have invested a minimum of $10m into the scheme – had applied for a payment licence from Switzerland’s financial watchdog.
The European Central Bank has warned that libra could undermine its ability to set monetary policy, while Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) chief executive Andrew Bailey said Facebook “will not walk through” authorisation for the currency.
Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said he will keep an “open mind” over the digital currency, but warned that it would face strict regulation if it goes ahead.
“Anything that works in this world will become instantly systemic and will have to be subject to the highest standards of regulations,” he said.
Main image credit: Facebook