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EU: Commission to call for Digital Tax Reform, Stablecoin regs at G20 meeting

 |  October 7, 2019

At a G20 meeting in the middle of October, European Union finance ministers will reportedly tell their counterparts that a worldwide regulatory response is needed to so-called stablecoins like Facebook’s Libra. The ministers are also asking for G20 partners to reform the taxation of digital firms next year as well as face trade tensions, which, according to the terms-of-reference document, “put global growth at risk,” Reuters reported.

The EU will tell G20 partners at an Oct. 17-18 meeting of central bankers and finance ministers in Washington that “latest developments with regard to stablecoins and the multi-faceted regulatory, oversight and supervisory challenges these represent, call for seamless cooperation and concerted response at global level” per the report.

As it stands, Germany and France EU heavyweights have criticized Facebook’s effort. They say it presents a risk to the sovereignty of the EU states. The European Central Bank has also asked for strict Libra oversight and will reportedly make a presentation of the report at the G20 meeting. According to the report, Facebook has the most name recognition in terms of stablecoins, which are digital currencies backed by assets like gold, short-term government securities or traditional money deposits.

And, in separate Libra news, Facebook’s Libra Association is meeting with member firms in Switzerland in October. Firms that are working with the digital currency project are sending representatives to the meeting, where it is believed that a board of directors will be appointed for the association. Founding Libra member Farfetch told one news outlet that it would be attending the meeting and said the Geneva meeting has been in the works for “some time.”

Libra — a blockchain-backed cryptocurrency — aims to connect the 1.7 billion people globally who don’t have access to a bank account to the world of digital payments at no or low cost. The Libra Association is a Geneva-based nonprofit comprised of over two dozen companies tasked with overseeing the planned digital currency.