A top official in Russia has said that Facebook’s planned new cryptocurrency Libra will not be legalized in Russia. This is according to a report this week from Russia’s state-run news agency TASS.
Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Financial Markets, Anatoly Aksakov, said Russia would not legalize the Libra stablecoin, due for launch next year, as it may pose a threat to the country’s financial system.
Aksakov however acknowledged that Russians would be able to buy Libra on international cryptocurrency exchange platforms but warned that the creation of any domestic mechanisms of exchange would be limited, or even prohibited.
TASS quoted Aksakov as saying:
With regard to the use of Facebook cryptocurrency as a payment instrument in Russia at this stage – my opinion is that in our country it will be banned.
He added that in Russia there were no plans to adopt legislation that “gives space for active use of crypto-tools created in the framework of open platforms and blockchains” that may pose a threat to Russia’s financial system.
Aksakov is not the first financial minister to express concerns over Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans and their potential to damage sovereign currency markets and financial stability as the French economy minister Bruno Le Maire, had said that global governments must ask Facebook for “guarantees” that Libra will not be aimed as a disruptive force against sovereign currencies.
The US government and regulatory officials have scheduled a Senate hearing by the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee for July 16. The government has asked Facebook to halt work on the project until the hearings have been held.
Sherrod Brown, senior Senator for Ohio has tweeted: “Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users’ data without protecting their privacy. We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight.”