France says Libra will not be allowed in Europe

France 'Cannot Authorize' Facebook's Libra Project

Announcing the move, French France's finance minister, Bruno Le Maire, said: "I want to be absolutely clear: in these conditions, we can not authorise the development of Libra on European soil", citing the potential of cryptocurrencies and particularly Libra, to threaten the "monetary sovereignty" of governments.

Le Maire said the bloc should also work to cut the cost of global payments, which Libra promises to slash. So I want to be very clear: "in these conditions we can not authorise libra's development on European soil", the French finance minister said.

It goes without saying that Facebook's "cryptocurrency" hasn't had it easy so far. "To date, while Facebook and [its Libra-focused subsidiary] Calibra have made broad public statements about privacy, they have failed to specifically address the information handling practices that will be in place to secure and protect personal information", the statement said.

Facebook hopes that Libra could become an alternative payment method on the social network, as well as for e-commerce websites and third-party services.

Forms of cryptocurrency on the market, such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), are decentralized and, therefore, do not have the financial backing of one main authority.

"Certainly the bar set for regulatory approval will be very high", Coeure, who is a Frenchman and will end his European Central Bank mandate at the end of the year, said.

Facebook's libra proposal has rattled policy makers around the world since its planned launch was announced in June. And we are firmly maintaining our launch schedule, between the end of the first half of the year and the end of 2020.

Merely days after Libra was announced, U.S. officials branded the cryptocurrency a "serious concern", and raised a number of privacy, consumer risk, and regulatory hurdles that Facebook was asked to address.

Also in France on Thursday, Google has agreed to pay a €500m ($554m) fine €465m ($515m) and to settle a four-year old tax fraud probe, according to Reuters.

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