France and Germany have formed a united front against Libra, Facebook’s proposed digital currency.
The news: In a joint statement issued late last week after a meeting of eurozone finance ministers, France and Germany said that Facebook’s plan for Libra “fails to convince” them that risks related to security, investor protection, money laundering and terrorist financing, and “monetary sovereignty” will be adequately dealt with. “We believe that no private entity can claim monetary power, which is inherent to the sovereignty of nations,” the statement reads.
Backlash at home and abroad: Facebook’s bold plan to issue global digital currency next year has been met with significant skepticism and resistance from policymakers in the US, including the president. Facebook has responded by bolstering its lobbying forces in Washington, DC. This joint statement suggests that the political challenges Libra faces in Europe could be more serious.
A wake-up call: The joint statement from France and Germany concludes, “We encourage European central banks to accelerate work on issues around possible public digital currency solutions.” What is this referring to? Apparently, the European Central Bank has been quietly working on its own digital currency project.
Now Facebook seems to have inspired the bank to pick up the pace. At a news conference after the meeting of finance ministers, ECB board member Benoit Coeure called Libra a “wake-up call.” He said it would fuel efforts to expand access to real-time payment capability in Europe. “We also need to step up our thinking on a central bank digital currency,” Coeure said.
Keep up with the fast-moving and sometimes baffling world of cryptocurrencies and blockchains with our weekly newsletter Chain Letter. Subscribe here. It’s free!
Here’s how a Twitter engineer says it will break in the coming weeks
One insider says the company’s current staffing isn’t able to sustain the platform.
Technology that lets us “speak” to our dead relatives has arrived. Are we ready?
Digital clones of the people we love could forever change how we grieve.
How to befriend a crow
I watched a bunch of crows on TikTok and now I'm trying to connect with some local birds.
Starlink signals can be reverse-engineered to work like GPS—whether SpaceX likes it or not
Elon said no thanks to using his mega-constellation for navigation. Researchers went ahead anyway.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.