Months ago, European governments raised the alarm about the irruption of cryptocurrencies and the risks posed by private projects such as Libra – designed by the giant Facebook – for security, privacy and consumer protection. A warning that the economy and finance ministers of Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands and Germany have reiterated this Friday from Berlin through a joint statement in which they recall that the European Central Bank is the only institution that can issue currency and that before authorizing any cryptocurrency, the EU must provide itself with a precise and stable legal and regulatory framework.
“We hope that the European Commission will present clear and strong rules to prevent the misuse of cryptocurrencies in terrorist activities or money laundering. We reject any private initiative. The European Central Bank is the only one that can issue currency. It is something that cannot be threatened or weakened by any type of project, including Libra ”, has warned the French minister, Bruno Le Maire, on the initiative of the internet giant insisting that monetary sovereignty must be in the hands of the States and the ECB.
The same message launched during the joint appearance by the Spanish Minister Nadia Calviño who has emphasized that the proposal they expect from Brussels, scheduled for the end of the year, must include three objectives: guarantee monetary sovereignty, financial stability and protection of consumers. “From the beginning we have made clear our concern about what are erroneously called stablecoins and which should be called credit assets. Consumers have to feel protected by the monetary system ”, he defended after the informal Eurogroup meeting held in Berlin in which his Dutch colleague, Wopke Hoekstra, nominated Frank Elderson as a candidate to replace Yves Mersch from Luxembourg in the governing body from the ECB as of December.
In the opinion of these five countries, cryptocurrencies must meet a series of requirements to obtain a free pass. To begin with, they must be backed by fiat currency in a ratio of 1 to 1. Second, the eligible assets will be limited to deposits, which must be consigned to a credit institution approved by the European Union, or at least part must be highly liquid assets subject to due guarantees. In addition, all entities that operate as part of a crypto asset scheme. backed by assets in the EU, they must be registered in the EU before starting any activity.
The five capitals also demand from the Community Executive that all assets eligible for the reserve are denominated in euros or in a currency of a member state, that they are not convertible, to avoid risk in exchange rates, and that consumers have the right to be exchanged at any time and at face value. “The declaration is a strong signal that we are united and committed to ensuring that we support the financing of innovation and technological development” and, at the same time, “financial stability, consumer protection and sovereignty”, has defended the Italian Roberto Gualtieri, who like the rest of the minister has stressed that only the ECB can issue currency in the Eurozone.