In a historic moment in Congress, pro-cryptocurrency representatives warned the House of Representatives of the “unstoppable” power of Bitcoin, calling for the United States to clarify regulations and seize the lead in blockchain innovation. Meanwhile, Facebook’s Libra continued to face relentless opposition.
David Marcus made his second appearance on Capitol Hill this week to testify before the House Financial Services Committee. In the hearing titled “examining Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency and its impact on consumers, investors, and the American financial system,” Marcus attempts to make progress towards gaining regulatory approval for the Libra cryptocurrency.
Primer on Libra
Libra is Facebook’s proposed stablecoin backed by a basket of low-yield assets. Calibra, a subsidiary of Facebook, is one of many wallet applications that will allegedly exist on the Libra network. The application, similar to Venmo or PayPal, will utilize the cryptocurrency to settle payments while offering consumers fraud protections while serving as a gateway for conducting know-your-customer and anti-money laundering checks on users.
According to the Libra whitepaper and testimony from Marcus, Libra will eventually be lead by a non-profit association of over one hundred member companies based out of Geneva, Switzerland. Some current members include Mastercard, Visa, Coinbase, and Uber.
Congress hostile toward Facebook’s Libra
As demonstrated in the previous hearing with the Senate Committee, U.S. policymakers have little trust in the social media giant.
“Facebook is apparently trying to create a new global financial system that is intended to rival the U.S. dollar,” opened chairwoman Maxine Waters, a California Democrat. “This venture is slated to be based in Switzerland that has a history as a monetary haven for criminals and shady corporations.”