G7 says Libra should not launch until risks ‘adequately addressed’

Washington, October 18

Facebook should not launch its global digital currency Libra until proper regulations are in place to handle the potential risks, the Group of Seven said on Thursday.

And France’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire warned that a currency like Libra could undermine sovereign nations’ control over their exchange rates.

“It’s a matter of democracy, not just a simple economic question,” Le Maire told reporters, saying Facebook’s currency could have an “immediate global reach” through the social network’s huge membership.

Le Maire presented the Group of Seven nation’s statement on Libra, saying “no global stable coin project should begin operation until the legal, regulatory and oversight challenges and risks are adequately addressed,” including the potential for money laundering and terror financing.

But, he told reporters, “The key question is the question of sovereignty.”

“Do we want a private company to have...the same power, and the same sovereignty, as democratic states” over currencies.

Libra, which would be backed by reserve assets unlike crypto currencies like Bitcoin, has faced a steady drumbeat of stern warnings from central bankers and financial regulators.

European Central Bank board member Benoit Coeure presented a report on digital currencies to the G7 finance ministers, who are gathering on the margins of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. AFP

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