Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will defend the proposed Libra cryptocurrency in a testimony before the House Financial Services Committee on October 23.
The highly scrutinized proposed cryptocurrency, which is being led by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), has come under fire from regulators on both sides of the Atlantic due to its potential threat to monetary sovereignty. Now, Zuckerberg must defend the plans before US lawmakers for a third time when he speaks at a hearing entitled “An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors.” Previously, Libra had been debated during meetings of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee in July.
The committee is chaired by Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, who drafted the “Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act,” which aims to prevent online platforms with an annual revenue of at least $25 billion USD from either becoming or affiliating with financial institutions, as well as preventing them from issuing their own cryptocurrencies. While this bill is clearly targetted at Libra, analysts have been critical of the more far-reaching effects it may have. Arcata described it as a “knee-jerk reaction to Libra [that] could have an impact on blockchain adoption more generally.”
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Libra has been a hot topic of conversation in Europe as well. Valdis Dombrovskis, who has recently been appointed Executive Vice President of the European Commission, said in his bid for that role that the EU needs to take a common approach towards designing regulations for cryptocurrency. He singled out Libra in particular, saying “for instance, Europe needs a common approach on crypto-assets, such as Libra. I intend to propose new legislation on this.”
Libra was dealt another major blow today after eBay, Stripe, and Mastercard all withdrew from The Libra Association, the consortium of businesses backing the project. Their withdrawal comes just days after PayPal backed out of the project, adding further doubt as to whether the project will ever come to fruition.
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