Facebook has taken a beating in Congress as lawmakers let loose with a barrage of tough questions over the planned launch of cryptocurrency Libra.
Members of the US House financial services committee grilled Facebook executive David Marcus for more than five hours .
They demanded to know how security would protect consumer data, how the corporation would bring banking to huge swathes of the world’s unbanked and how the social media giant would work with regulatory bodies.
The two takeaways from the senators are they were hostile to the concept of Libra, while Facebook executives seem to have muddled thinking about the way ahead for the cryptocurrency.
Senators slate Libra project
The project was slated for allowing unelected companies to profit from a currency controlled outside of the reach of governments and regulators.
Facebook is one of many corporations clubbing together to develop Libra. Other coalition members include Uber, Lyft, MasterCard and PayPal.
As Facebook sets out to launch Libra, the committee is considering a new law to stop corporations earning revenue of $25 billion a year or more from involvement in cryptocurrency with the Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act.
However, cryptocurrency supporters, like Nigel Green, CEO of deVere Group, a leading global financial services provider for expats, feels the hearings can only boost the standing of cryptocurrency.
“The high-profile scrutiny of this new cryptocurrency must be championed as cryptocurrencies are already part of the global financial system,” he said.
Interesting times for Bitcoin
US Government seems keen on a public opinion.
Powell: "Bitcoin is a speculative store of value like gold."
Trump: "I am not a fan of Bitcoin."
Mnuchin: "Speculation is okay." More opinions =awareness =inc price? #bitcoin #Crypto
— Nigel Green (@nigeljgreen) July 15, 2019
Cryptocurrency is now mainstream
“They are here to stay. And their influence is set to grow exponentially. As such, they should face the same scrutiny and meet the same standards and requirements as the rest of the financial system.
“This is a step in the right direction for establishing a robust global regulatory framework for the wider crypto market.
“Whatever you think about Facebook’s Libra as an individual cryptocurrency, these top-level US governmental hearings underscore again that, as a concept, digital, global, borderless currencies are now a part of mainstream finance, and increasingly so.
“This is why most major financial institutions, tech giants, and of course institutional and retail investors are increasingly involving themselves in the burgeoning sector.”