Congressional Committee To Question Facebook CEO About Proposed Cryptocurrency

Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on October 23, according its Chairwoman, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California).

Facebook’s cofounder-CEO is expected to be the sole witness at the hearing, which the Committee has entitled, “An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors.”

Waters threatened to challenge the development of Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency and digital wallet when it was announced in June.

In July, the Committee sent a letter to Facebook executives, which suggested the company’s blockchain strategy “raises serious privacy, trading, national security and monetary policy concerns for not only Facebook’s over 2 billion users, but also for investors, consumers and the broader global economy.”

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Waters and her colleagues also requested that Facebook and its partners immediately agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on its proposed cryptocurrency, Libra, and its proposed digital wallet, Calibra.

In response, David Marcus, who heads the company's new Calibra unit, said he welcomed the scrutiny from policymakers and politicians.

“The time between now and launch is designed to be an open process and subject to regulatory oversight and review,” Marcus said in July.

More recently, several key partners have reportedly begun to question their continuing involvement in the project.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Visa, Mastercard, PayPal Holding and Stripe were on the fence about formally signing onto Libra.

They are among 28 financial services companies that joined what Facebook has dubbed the “Libra Association” and are reportedly being asked by Facebook to recommit to the project next month.

However, as sources told the WSJ, some of Facebook’s Libra partners believe the social giant has failed to sufficiently soothe concerns among government regulators.
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