Facebook's renamed cryptocurrency is still 'wolf in sheep's clothing': German Finance Minister

FILE PHOTO: German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz holds a virtual news conference in Berlin, Germany, November 27, 2020. Kay Nietfeld/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - It will take more than renaming Facebook’s cryptocurrency to address the concerns regulators have about authorising its launch in Germany and Europe, German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said on Monday.

In a statement after a video conference of G7 finance ministers at which cryptocurrencies were discussed, Scholz said that relaunching Libra under its new name of Diem was only a cosmetic change.

“A wolf in sheep’s clothing is still a wolf,” he said. “It is clear to me that Germany and Europe cannot and will not accept its entry into the market while the regulatory risks are not adequately addressed.”

He added: “We must do everything possible to make sure the currency monopoly remains in the hands of states.”

Reporting by Thomas Escritt