Le Maire was speaking at the opening of an OECD conference on blockchain and cryptocurrencies in Paris, France.
The French finance minister has said the nation plans to block Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency in the EU over concerns that it poses a threat to the sovereignty of national currencies.
According to The Independent newspaper on Thursday, Bruno Le Maire, Economy and Finance Minister of France, said:
“I want to be absolutely clear: In these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil.”
The Telegraph, meanwhile, adds that Le Maire said “It would be a global currency, held by a single player, which has more than two billion users around the world. The monetary sovereignty of states is under states is under threat.”
Le Maire reportedly expressed concerns that Libra may “substitute itself as a national currency” and potentially cause financial disruption.
“I don’t see why we should dedicate so much effort to combating money laundering and terrorist financing for so many years to see a digital currency like Libra completely escape those regulatory efforts”, he said.
The Libra Association has stated this week that it will “maintain AML guidelines, which its members will be expected to comply with if they choose to provide financial services on the Libra network. The association will set standards for its members to maintain AML and anti-fraud programs, and to cooperate with legitimate law enforcement investigations.”
The French minister has previously expressed concerns over Libra’s threat to national currencies, saying after the cryptocurrency’s debut in June that “It is out of question’’ that Libra be allowed to “become a sovereign currency. It can’t and it must not happen.”
A CNBC report indicated that Le Maire also said today that he’s discussed the creation of a “public digital currency” with outgoing European Central Bank president Mario Draghi and Christine Lagarde, who will take over his position later this year.