Face­book to­ken runs into trou­ble

Lodi News-Sentinel - - BUSINESS - By Alas­tair Marsh

LON­DON — Face­book Inc.’s am­bi­tious plan to roll out its own cryp­tocur­rency ran into im­me­di­ate po­lit­i­cal op­po­si­tion in Europe, with calls for tighter reg­u­la­tion of the so­cial-me­dia gi­ant. French Fi­nance Min­is­ter Bruno Le Maire said the digital cur­rency known as Libra shouldn’t be seen as a re­place­ment for tra­di­tional cur­ren­cies.

“It is out of ques­tion” that Libra “be­come a sov­er­eign cur­rency,” Le Maire said in an in­ter­view on Europe 1 ra­dio. “It can’t and it must not hap­pen.”

Le Maire called on the Group of Seven cen­tral bank gov­er­nors, guardians of the global mon­e­tary sys­tem, to pre­pare a re­port on Face­book’s project for their July meet­ing. His con­cerns in­clude pri­vacy, money laun­der­ing and ter­ror­ism fi­nance.

Libra was also a talk­ing point at the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank’s an­nual sym­po­sium in Sin­tra, Por­tu­gal, where Bank of Eng­land Gover­nor Mark Car­ney ref­er­enced Libra. “Any­thing that works in this world will be­come in­stantly sys­temic and will have to be sub­ject to the high­est stan­dards of reg­u­la­tion,” he said.

While Car­ney said “we need to have an open mind” about tech­nol­ogy that can fa­cil­i­tate cross-bor­der money trans­fers, “we will look at it very closely and in a co­or­di­nated fash­ion” at mul­ti­lat­eral or­ga­ni­za­tions in­clud­ing the G-7, the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund, Bank for In­ter­na­tional Set­tle­ments and Fi­nan­cial Sta­bil­ity Board.

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