Representative Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee issued the following statement in the wake of Facebook’s cryptocurrency announcement today. Facebook’s “Libra” is a stablecoin created from a basket of assets but the ecosystem also has the ability to create smart contracts similar to Ethereum.
Representative Waters had this to say:
“Facebook has data on billions of people and has repeatedly shown a disregard for the protection and careful use of this data. It has also exposed Americans to malicious and fake accounts from bad actors, including Russian intelligence and transnational traffickers. Facebook has also been fined large sums and remains under a Federal Trade Commission consent order for deceiving consumers and failing to keep consumer data private, and has also been sued by the government for violating fair housing laws on its advertising platform.
“With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users. The cryptocurrency market currently lacks a clear regulatory framework to provide strong protections for investors, consumers, and the economy. Regulators should see this as a wake-up call to get serious about the privacy and national security concerns, cybersecurity risks, and trading risks that are posed by cryptocurrencies. 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.”
In a Tweet, Chair Waters requested a moratorium on Facebook’s issuance of Libra:
“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 & regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues & take action.”
– Chairwoman @RepMaxineWaters | #FacebookLibra pic.twitter.com/FxzDmqgInh
— Financial Svcs Cmte (@FSCDems) June 19, 2019
Expect a House Financial Service Committee Hearing addressing Libra and involving Facebook representatives soon.