G7 finance chiefs call for strict regulations on cryptocurrencies

Jiji Press CHANTILLY, France (Jiji Press) — Top finance and monetary officials of the Group of Seven major industrial countries on Thursday called for strict regulations on cryptocurrencies, such as Libra planned by Facebook.

Libra and other digital currencies “raise serious regulatory and systemic concerns,” said a chair’s summary adopted at the two-day meeting of the G7 finance ministers and central bank chiefs in Chantilly, northern France, on Thursday.

Cryptocurrencies “would in any case need to meet the highest standards of financial regulation ... in order to guarantee they do not affect the stability of the financial system or consumer protection,” the document said.

Innovation in the financial sector “can bring substantial benefits,” but “can also entail risks,” it said.

The meeting was held to lay the groundwork for a G7 summit in Biarritz, southwestern France, in August.

The top finance officials from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States also decided that a task force comprising officials from the central banks of the seven countries will compile a final report on the issue in October.

Libra is believed to have many problems related to the protection of personal information and the fight against money laundering, sources familiar with the matter said.

“The G7 meeting was meaningful as we agreed on the need for international cooperation” in dealing with Libra, Finance Minister Taro Aso said at a press conference after the meeting.

Private companies should not be allowed to issue their own currencies without democratic control, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who chaired the meeting, said, underscoring the importance of introducing regulations on Libra.

There is a possibility of Libra, which can be remitted on the Internet, having a great presence on par with existing legal currencies if the cryptocurrency is used by over 2 billion Facebook users, pundits said. Facebook plans to launch Libra in 2020.

In the chair’s summary, the G7 officials said that they “fully supported” the adoption by 2020 of a proposed two-pillar solution to tax challenges raised by the digitalization of the economy, such as tax avoidance by global information technology giants.Speech

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