The arrival of Libra, the cryptocurrency launched by Facebook, does not leave European governments indifferent. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire claims that Libra “cannot become a sovereign currency” from the financial G7 in Chantilly. “We need to consider all the risks associated with money laundering and the financing of international terrorism,” he added in a meeting with the press.
A new thrust that has hit the cryptocurrency market, with Bitcoin again down in the $ 9,400 area with a splash of over 25 percentage points over a week ago. The new ‘bear’ phase of the cryptocurrencies was triggered by the negative judgments expressed by the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and by that of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, on Libra, the virtual currency that Facebook intends to launch. Even Congress is committed to finding legislative solutions that can regulate the sector and many stars and stripes parliamentarians have criticized the project designed by Mark Zuckerberg, stressing that, after the Cambridge Analytica case, Menlo Park does not deserve too much trust.
Even the Italian minister, Giovanni Tria, from the French summit echoed Le Maire, saying: “There is a general concern and the decision is that this concern will result in an action”. To those who ask him if it is an action against the virtual currency initiative launched by Facebook, the minister has indicated “an action to control what is happening, the concern will therefore give rise to an intervention”.
Le Maire instead defended the tax introduced by the French government to tax the so-called web giants. On digital giants “we have adopted a reasonable taxation, which is not aimed at any company or any particular country” and on this issue at the Chantilly G7 “I expect hard and lively discussions” with US Secretary of State Steven Mnuchin, he said Le Maire explaining how – in the light of the evolution of the global economy, increasingly digitalized – “we must build the taxation of the 21st century, we cannot rely on a model of the last century”.
On the taxation of the web giants, but more generally on the harmonization of taxation for large companies, added Le Maire, “we hope for an agreement in 2020 on the principles and therefore the first decisions at the end of the year”. “An agreement at the G7 level is decisive: if we do not find it here – he observed – frankly it will be difficult to find it among the 129 OECD countries”. Le Maire explained that in this battle “we have a very motivated ally, Great Britain, but – he underlined – we have also agreed to work on the basis of the American proposal” which concerns all the companies that derive a significant share of revenues from digital. “On the French side it is an opening gesture” but – reiterated Le Maire -”
Tria also intervened on this point, saying that “on the general principles there is more or less a general agreement, the problem is that then on the practical application the concrete mechanism is very complex. We must take into account the impacts on individual countries and on growth global”.