- Facebook’s upcoming Libra token has faced harsh criticism in congress
- It has been suggested that the token be scrapped altogether
July 17, 2019, saw David Marcus, the head of the Calibra wallet at Facebook, once again met with Congresspeople on Capitol Hill to defend the upcoming Libra token by Facebook and explain its regulatory implications. This meeting has been a good while coming and while the initial meeting on July 16, 2019, acted as a means of educating the public about cryptocurrency and Libra, this meeting saw both Facebook and Libra face harsh criticism.
A lot of this criticism is related to the alleged regulatory issues that Libra will cause and also saw several Congresspeople suggest that the token not be launched at all.
The criticism of Libra started as soon as the meeting began as the committee chair Rep. Maxine Waters opened the hearing by pointing out Facebook’s past behavior and said in her statement said that the company had demonstrated a pattern of failure to keep consumer data safe and also compared them to Equifax. Facebook’s allowing of malicious Russian actors to purchase and target ads during the 2016 us elections was also brought up. Maxine Waters has been a vocal critic of the upcoming token so these statements are not surprising.
In the defense of his firm, David Marcus stated that Facebook will not launch the token until they have addressed all regulatory concerns. This was in response to a question posed by Rep. Nydia Velazquez who asked if Facebook will commit themselves not to launch until all issues from the Federal Reserve and other regulators are addressed.
Rep. David Scott also stated that neither the white paper not the Facebook post released after give evidence or details as to how anti-money laundering measures will be put in place and how know-your-customer policies will be enforced. According to him, this is the major concern among both those within Congress and those in the financial industry.
Previously, David Marcus has stated that the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commission (FDPIC) would be Libra’s associate privacy regulator. However, it seems this is not yet the case as Hugo Wyler, who is the spokesperson for and head of Communications at the FDPIC, stated that the agency has not been contacted by anyone associated with Libra.
“We have taken note of the statements made by David Marcus, chief of Calibra, on our potential role as data protection supervisory authority in the Libra context. Until today we have not been contacted by the promoters of Libra,” he said.
While Facebook might be trying to get it together before the launch, some have suggested that the firm not launch the token at all. Among these people is Rep. Carolyn Maloney, who stated that she does not think Libra should be launched at all because the creation of a new currency is a government function and should only be left to the institutions set up for that purpose. She instead stated that a small pilot program be launched and should be overseen by the Federal Reserve and the Securities and Exchange Commission.