On Tuesday, October 8, Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU finance commissioner, who is now competing for an extension of his current position with two other nominees, voiced his intention to introduce more unified and comprehensive regulation of cryptocurrencies, such as Facebook’s Libra coin.
"Europe needs a common approach on crypto-assets such as Libra. I intend to propose new legislation on this," Valdis Dombrovskis told EU lawmakers in his confirmation hearing, as reported by Reuters.
He explained his position on the issue highlighting the need to “address risks such as unfair competition, cybersecurity, and threats to financial stability”.
The opinion voiced by Dombrovskis is by far not a minority report. Back in August 2019, Bruno Le Marie, France’s Minister of Economy and Finance, stated that the government would not authorize the Libra cryptocurrency in Europe because its current conception threatens the “monetary sovereignty of states”. His stance is shared by a number of German officials as well.
It is also worth noting that since late August 2019, the European Commission, an EU antitrust regulator, has been investigating “potential anti-competitive behavior” in regards of Facebook’s Libra Association. The commissioners suspect that Libra cryptocurrency could be deliberately designed for enhancing unfair competition.
Meanwhile, Facebook is seeking a payment system license for Libra from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). The regulator, however, made it clear that it can only check the compliance of the project against money laundering and for a project of such scale, global approval is needed.