The head of the nonprofit organization behind Facebook’s Libra digital currency has said the company is committed to launching it and clearing regulatory hurdles.
In an interview with French news magazine Les Echos on Sept. 12, Bertrand Perez, director general of the Libra Association, said the token should appear in the second half of 2020.
The comments came the day France’s economy and finance minister said the country would refuse to allow Libra to operate within its borders.
Concerns over financial stability fuelled the resentment, with Bruno Le Maire appearing to wish to shape a hostile European Union policy towards Libra.
According to Perez, however, Facebook does not wish to create new supplies of money via the token. He drew comparisons to BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, saying the social media giant did not want to compete in that market.
“We don’t want to become a new BlackRock,” he told Les Echos, continuing:
“That’s why these concerns about the destabilizing effect our reserve currency could have on central banks’ fiat currencies — which figure in our basket — seem unfounded to us.”
Perez likewise confirmed Libra, upon launch, would be tied to a selection of major world currencies, but notably not the Chinese yuan.
Beijing is putting the finishing touches to its own digital currency, with central bank officials already voicing direct worries of their own about Libra’s backing.
Nonetheless, Perez is confident that all the regulatory difficulties could be solved by the launch.
“The year we’ve taken prior to release will allow us to iron out all the problems,” he added.
France meanwhile has pledged not to tax crypto-to-crypto transactions, highlighting its potentially permissive stance towards the phenomenon.