Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Receives Mixed Reviews from European Capitals

Facebook Project Libra Cryptocurrency Bank of England Mark Carney

Facebook’s forthcoming cryptocurrency has been the talk of the cryptocurrency world since details of the project first emerged. With over two billion global users, the social giant is expected to bring cryptocurrency to a global mainstream audience when its cryptocurrency, dubbed Project Libra, finally goes live.

However, before the cryptocurrency can become a reality, there’s still the matter of passing regulators — and with the international focus of the launch, that means navigating countless competing and different regulatory and political systems.

The cryptocurrency has caught the attention of politicians and central bankers in Europe this week, with mixed sentiments.

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, said he had an “open mind” to the technology. He said that Facebook’s cryptocurrency could be subject to the highest standards of regulation and compliance.

Without giving a ringing endorsement, Carney said that the Bank of England would be prepared to work with other central banks and international regulators to establish parameters for the project.

However, the plans met with more rigorous opposition in France, led by Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.

Criticizing proposals for regulatory leniency, at least in the short term, Le Maire said companies such as Facebook should not be given this freedom, citing concerns over privacy and the implications of the currency on the wider financial system.

“Multinational corporations such as Facebook must not be allowed to operate in a regulatory nirvana when introducing virtual currencies.”

The views were echoed by German MEP Markus Ferber, who urged regulators to be on high alert over the project and its development.

According to Facebook, the firm is planning to “build a financial ecosystem that can plug in and empower billions of people” with the help of its cryptocurrency.

Designed to hold stable to the USD, the cryptocurrency aims to provide the utility of crypto payments to Facebook users without exposing them to fluctuating exchange rates.

While the proposals are already at an advanced stage of development, it remains to be seen how effectively Facebook can navigate through the competing and often contradictory views of regulators worldwide.