Update: 6/20/19: We now know that David Marcus, who oversees Facebook’s blockchain efforts, is expected to testify .
The Senate Banking Committee set July 16 as the date to hold a hearing to go over Facebook’s plan to issue its own digital currency titled “Libra“.
The hearing is titled “Examining Facebook’s Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations”. The Senate has yet to finalize who will be testifying at the hearing.
The request for hearing comes after a pushback from Congressional lawmakers demanding that the social networking giant postpone its plan to roll out Libra to the second half of 2020, giving lawmakers more time to review the consumer risks and other ramifications of the cryptocurrency rollout.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who was one of the first senators to put Facebook on notice said yesterday “Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users’ data without protecting their privacy. We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight. I’m calling on our financial watchdogs to scrutinize this closely to ensure users are protected.”
House Financial Services Committee head Maxine Waters also expressed her concern Tuesday – “Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users.” Facebook is still struggling to recover from privacy concerns after its Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Expressing her concerns about Facebook’s recent issues, Maxine further added “Given the company’s troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action. Facebook executives should also come before the Committee to provide testimony on these issues.”
Responding to the concerns, Facebook issued a statement Tuesday “We look forward to responding to lawmakers’ questions as this process moves forward.”
Facebook has been holding regular meetings with regulators about its cryptocurrency plans. According to The Wall Street Journal Facebook on Tuesday named a series of corporate partners—including financial-services giants Mastercard Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. and tech companies Uber Technologies Inc. and Spotify Technology SA —that it said would help it create a “secure, scalable and reliable” cryptocurrency.
Pete is a huge cryptocurrency fan and loves to keep tab on how digital currency is transforming the world. A proud father to a son, he loves exploring nature in his downtime.