The focus of the hearing between Facebook’s David Marcus and the Senate on the Libra cryptocurrency was trust—or the lack thereof. Marcus, the head of Calibra, strongly suggested that if the U.S. doesn’t act quickly, Bitcoin could jeopardize the dollar’s dominance. Meanwhile, the Senate Committee was hostile towards the social media giant because of its history of ethical and regulatory violations.
David Marcus, the head of Calibra, testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs this morning to clarify issues around Libra, the cryptocurrency Facebook revealed last month.
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 and will serve as the point of control 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.
Facebook attempts to placate regulators
“We will take the time to get this right. We expect the review of Libra to be the most extensive ever. We are fully committed to working with regulators here and around the world. And let me be clear and unambiguous. Facebook will not offer the Libra digital currency until we have fully addressed regulators concerned and have received appropriate approvals,” said Marcus in his opening testimony.
The Facebook executive’s appearance before the Senate Committee comes after Libra attracted national scrutiny from several divisions of the United States government.