Facebook called before Senate panel over digital currency project

Posted June 22, 2019

Lawmakers in the USA and Europe have already expressed concerns about Facebook's cryptocurrency.

Facebook has linked with 28 partners, including Mastercard, PayPal and Uber to form the Libra Association, a Geneva-based entity governing the new digital coin.

Libra could turn out to be a smashing success, but at least according to a couple of people in the AC forums, they don't seem to psyched about it.

The US Senate Banking Committee in a statement released Wednesday said that it will be holding a hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency on July 16, 2019.

Facebook has announced the launch of its own digital currency in a major new push into the worldwide financial services industry.

"We know the journey is just beginning, but together we can achieve Libra's mission to create a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that will empower billions of people", Mr Marcus said.

Facebook hopes to launch the Libra in the first half of 2020.

Libra has seen several countries voice their concerns about the cryptocurrency, and there could be an unexpected backlash by governments moving forward that could ultimately dampen then successful use of Facebook's crypto project. But he underscored that the Fed's role in global regulatory groups, which may suggest that the USA central bank may have the influence on any regulations for Facebook's Libra debut.

But Facebook already faces scrutiny over its poor record on privacy and its dominance in social media, messaging and related businesses.

Facebook's move into the financial sector was met with immediate criticism from US lawmakers and regulators around the world, considering the company's history of failing to protect users' data and privacy. Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown tweeted, "Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users' data without protecting their privacy". The company said its wallet app for using Libra will walk people through a verification process to ensure they are who they say they are.

But the company has said it will implement technologies to prevent fraud and money laundering.

Facebook has been dogged with questions about users' personal data, especially since the Cambridge Analytica scandal hit past year. Calibra, the company insists, will be a subsidiary of Facebook and a regulated financial service provider.

Facebook said it looked forward to responding to policymakers' questions.

"There are potential benefits here; there are also potential risks, particularly of a currency that could potentially have larger application", Powell said.