Europe vows vigilance as Facebook announces global cryptocurrency Libra

European financial leaders vowed vigilance after Facebook announced it was diving into the cryptocurrency market, as analysts warned the social media giant could face major regulatory questions.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, whose government initiated a new tax on digital giants like Facebook that has angered the United States, said such digital money could never replace sovereign currencies of governments and insisted Facebook’s plan required guarantees.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Facebook’s new currency would have to withstand scrutiny of its operational resilience and not allow itself to be used for money laundering or terror financing.

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After months of speculations and rumours, Facebook on Tuesday officially announced a new global cryptocurrency called ‘Libra’.

As the official blog explained, the new digital currency will be made available through a digital wallet called ‘Calibra’ that will be available in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and as a standalone app. The company expects to launch it in 2020.

Calibra will allow users to send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone as easily as a text message at low or no cost. Facebook plans to offer more services such as bill payments, food ordering, or local public transit, all through Calibra and Libra.

(With ANI inputs)

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