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France to create a joint G7 cryptocurrency task force amid Facebook’s Libra woes

Well, it didn't take long

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France is putting together a Group of Seven Nations (G7) task force to explore how central banks can make sure cryptocurrencies adhere to money-laundering and consumer protection rules.

That’s according to the country’s central bank governor who announced the news today.

The announcement comes days after Facebook announced the launch of its upcoming digital currency, Libra.

According to Reuters, France, which currently holds G7’s rotating presidency, has said it’s not against Facebook creating an instrument for financial transactions. But, it opposes that instrument becoming a sovereign currency.

It’s important to note that despite Facebook, and several mainstream media outlets, branding Libra a cryptocurrency, it can be argued the term has been used quite loosely

As previously reported by Hard Fork, the total amount of Libra tokens in circulation will depend on the balances of its users, going against what happens with major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which feature a fixed, limited supply.

Facebook, which is moving into the digital payments space, partnered with a host of well-known financial institutions including Mastercard, but also fellow technology companies such as Uber and PayPal to create Libra Association. The association will be based in Geneva and will be tasked with overseeing the new coin.

Although no banks have joined the consortium as of yet, the announcement didn’t go unnoticed by the world’s financial and political bigwigs.

The US Senate Banking Committee is due to hold a hearing on Facebook‘s plans next month. David Marcus, responsible for leading Facebook‘s blockchain work, is expected to testify.

More recently, Mark Carney, the Bank of England’s governor said Libra had to be safe for consumers to use or else risk not happening. He also said the world’s major central banks will need to have oversight of the coin.

It’s not surprising that mainstream finance and governments are throwing their toys out of the pram, but it’d be interesting to see how things play out in the near future and whether any reactions to Facebook‘s Libra have a sizeable impact on the cryptocurrency world.

Published June 21, 2019 — 15:28 UTC