European officials called for greater scrutiny of Facebook’s cryptocurrency ambitions just hours after the company announced its new digital currency system. In an interview with Europe 1 radio, French Finance Minister Bruno LeMaire called on G-7 central banks to prepare a report on the cryptocurrency, which will be overseen by a consortium of large companies backing the project. Markus Ferber, a German member of the European Parliament, told Bloomberg that governments should be wary of Facebook becoming a “shadow bank.”
The swiftness with which European officials responded to Facebook’s bid to replace traditional fiat currency suggests that a fraught regulatory battle could be on the horizon for the social media company.
U.S. regulators didn’t immediately react to the Facebook announcement, but lawmakers from both parties called for more scrutiny of the project. “Facebook is already too big and too powerful,” said Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, the top Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee. “We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight.”