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Zuckerberg Fails to Quell US Lawmakers Concerns on Libra

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For the third time since it was announced, Libra was hauled in front of Congress to try and appease their concerns and help the Facebook-backed cryptocurrency project gain a regulatory foothold. It seems though, even with the head of Facebook speaking up, that the latest hearing has done no good.

The testimony before the United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee left the lawmakers with the same concerns as they did having come into this hearing, but the topics varied in discussion, not all directly focused on Libra. 

Facebook’s data policies and reaction to possible foreign influences on the platform also came under scrutiny with the committee’s chair, Maxine Waterstelling Cointelegraph, “I don’t support Libra at all at this point.” Waters added:

“And it’s not as if I support it if it does this or if it does that. At this point, I am not a supporter of Libra. I don’t know what it is, I don’t think that that has been adequately explained. I don’t think that he [Zuckerberg] should be moving forward with this huge project — this big idea, with all these other concerns that have not really been resolved.”

While it has not been expressly stated that the concerns over this Libra cryptocurrency project stem with issues concerning Facebook being in charge, there are big signs that is the case. Other stablecoin projects that mirror what Libra is trying to do have mostly gotten a free ride.

While Libra has predominantly been under fire, in the US, and across the globe, there are emerging supporters for the project’s innovation. The notion of stifling the US innovation by halting Libra is a new narrative that is being heard. 

Rep. Patrick McHenry began his comments in the hearing by declaring, “Today is a trial on American innovation.” McHenry’s thoughts were also echoed by Sen. Mike Rounds, who wrote to Libra Association members urging them to push on.

Zuckerberg also played on this fact, noting that China was working on a digital version of its national currency that, should it come to fruition before a dollar-backed project like Libra, it could threaten the economic and geopolitical position of the US, he claimed. 

He added: “The financial industry is stagnant. There is no digital financial architecture to support the innovation that we need. I don’t know if Libra is going to work, but I believe in trying new things.”

Darryn Pollock
Darryn has been interested in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space since he heard about Bitcoin in 2015. He then decided to use his journalism degree to report on this fascinating fintech space in 2016, and has not looked back since.

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