AOC Grills Facebook Exec on Libra Digital Currency

Perspectives Dante Disparte

Perspectives Dante Disparte

Facebook is set to face further scrutiny on its ambitions to launch a cryptocurrency after "very serious concerns" were raised by senior USA government members.

Similar concerns were recently expressed by the Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell. "You know, they've been fined, so I think they stand out among numerous companies in having a lot of explaining to do", said Cicilline.

"We need to get Mark Zuckerberg here". The Libra Reserve itself will be backed by a basket of currencies including the USA dollar, the British pound, the euro and the Japanese yen.

"I'm concerned a 2020 launch date represents deep insensitivities about how Libra could impact U.S. financial security, the global financial system, the privacy of people across the globe, criminal activity and worldwide human rights", said Republican U.S. Representative Ann Wagner.

Marcus also sounded a familiar theme for the company: if Facebook does not build the technology of the future, someone else will. Marcus mentioned multiple times that he believes the USA should be a leader in creating a new global currency - something that other countries will try to do without US input, he added.

Facebook, the 15-year old social media giant, topped 2 billion monthly users in June.

David Marcus, Facebook's executive heading the digital coin effort, defended the plan during more than two hours at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Libra, pledging to comply with all regulations to thwart money laundering and criminal activity.

Marcus said the companies joined the association because the "status quo is not working for too many people, and that people deserve better". "Facebook has burned down the house over and over and called every arson a learning experience", he said.

"We would be insane to give them a chance to experiment with people's bank accounts, and to use powerful tools they don't understand, like monetary policy, to jeopardize hardworking Americans' ability to provide for their families". Arizona Republican Martha McSally put it bluntly: "I don't trust Facebook", she said.

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"You violated privacy in the past as a company. yet you are launching a new product and you're claiming that the privacy is going to be protected".

It has said it won't launch Libra until all of the regulatory issues are addressed. Marcus also said that Facebook would institute consumer protections to prevent scams within its own digital wallet, called Calibra, including requiring a valid photo ID in order to set up an account.

"I believe that if America does not lead innovation in the digital currency and payments area, others will". Expected to launch in the first half of 2020, Libra is created to be backed by a basket of currency assets to avoid the wild swings of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Marcus repeatedly said "we do not want to compete with the dollar" but also said "we want Libra to be a digital global currency" and "one unit of digital currency for the whole world".

"I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air", he wrote.

And as criticism intensifies, Facebook now runs the real risk of prompting Congress to step in and block the launch of Libra.

Multiple members asked how Facebook and the companies in the association, which include Uber, Lyft, MasterCard and Paypal, would profit from the currency. "It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way".

"We have only one real currency in the United States of America, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable", he stated.

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