French Finance Minister Criticizes Crypto But Praises The Underlying “Transparency” of Blockchain Technology
French Finance minister accepts blockchain technology's brilliance but dismisses cryptocurrency assets as a facilitator of illicit activities and terrorist financing.
Earlier in the year, the French Economy, Finance and Recovery minister, Bruno Le Maire, suggested that European Union member states, need to come up with rules and regulations that can be used in the zone to govern cryptocurrencies and global stablecoins such as Facebook-led digital coin, Libra. Speaking on a national TV broadcast on October 18, Le Maire further articulated his stance claiming cryptocurrencies need more surveillance to combat terrorist financing.
“We must strengthen our surveillance systems in the face of terrorist financing. For example, cryptocurrencies must be more supervised.”
However, former breakdance champion turned crypto and Web3 enthusiast, Cyril Paglino, offered a response on Twitter disagreeing with the minister. Responding to the interview video by Le Maire, Paglino states the “terrorist financing” claim is old rhetoric that needs to be done away with as cash offers more incentive to fund terrorist activities.
“This 10-year-old myth about cryptocurrencies needs to stop spreading,” Paglino wrote on Twitter. “Transactions on a blockchain are secure and traceable. No interest in a terrorist. Unlike cash, which circulates to it without any control.”
While agreeing with Cyril on the public and transparent nature of blockchain technologies, Le Maire questions the role of cryptocurrencies in facilitating illicit activities, including fraudulent transactions on drugs, weapons, and money laundering.
Cher @cyrilpaglino, nous ne remettons pas en cause la fiabilité et la traçabilité de toutes les technologies de la blockchain. Mais certaines cryptomonnaies ont pu être utilisées pour faciliter des transactions frauduleuses (drogue, armes, blanchiment) de manière anonyme. Nuance. https://t.co/m2YFNa9ipd
— Bruno Le Maire (@BrunoLeMaire) October 19, 2020
The French Finance minister has been a big critic of Facebook’s Libra stablecoin, highlighting the token as a danger to state control across the globe. According to Le Maire, political and monetary sovereignty is at risk; hence regulating the launch and use of global stablecoins like Libra.