Recently, French economics and business magazine, Capital, interviewed the founder of the Ledger blockchain, Éric Larchevêque, discussing Bitcoin and how state-developed cryptocurrencies are Europe’s best line of defense against Libra, the proposed stablecoin project from Facebook.
In Larchevêque’s opinion, Libra is an extraordinary project and courageous initiative that could lead to the creation of a powerful payment infrastructure for its users. During the interview, he also commented on French minister Bruno Le Maire’s aggressive statements on the topic.
“He understands that a simple “no” is not enough and that we must be the first to get out our cryptocurrency. This is what I find particularly intelligent.”
Larchevêque also spoke about what a crypto-euro could be used for, stating that it would be useful for companies that work on smart contracts and that stablecoins are the currently missing element required to develop a real blockchain economy.
“It cannot be Bitcoin because of its volatility. It cannot be the traditional euro either because it is not natively on the blockchain.”
He also mentioned that “it would be nice” if this crypto-euro were developed by European countries to protect the continent’s technological sovereignty, but that such a project would have to go through calls for tenders, which would quite plausibly involve multinational technology corporations such as IBM or Microsoft.
“Our conception is opposed to that of the United States, where everything is in the cloud. In Europe, our philosophy is rather that technology must allow the user to have his own data and protect them as personal sovereignty.”
Consequently, he stated that Bitcoin will not be easily replaceable due to the resilience it has shown in the last ten years, and that its value will continue to determine that of other cryptocurrencies without preventing the development of new projects.
“If the economy goes through crises in the future, Bitcoin will not be affected.”
When asked what he would do, given the opportunity to walk in Bruno Le Maire or Christine Lagarde’s shoes, the Ledger founder said that he would give a mandate to the Public Investment Bank (BPI) or the Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) to oversee the process at the local level, after which it would be necessary to call for tenders to find good French technological partners.
Additionally, though The Banque de France is looking for a specialist to work on this topic, Larchevêque said that they had fallen into caricature through their negativity towards Bitcoin, and that it was not somewhere talented people in the field would go to work due to philosophical differences.
“It is not credible because we have the impression that it has an account to settle, which is not very constructive. I do not think that innovation will come from it, unlike the BPI and the CDC which have already shown a more positive look.”