Programmatic Lunch

Democrats are pressuring Facebook to hold off on cryptocurrency project Libra

Alyssa Clementi

Democrats on the House Financial Services Committee, including representatives Maxine Waters, Carolyn Maloney, Lacy Clay, Al Green, and Stephen Lynch, wrote a letter to Facebook’s top leadership, asking the company to postpone moving forward with its controversial cryptocurrency project, Libra. The letter stated that the Committee would prefer more time to review any possible privacy concerns, including hacking, data security, and global financial security.

"We write to request that Facebook and its partners immediately agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on Libra — its proposed cryptocurrency and Calibra — its proposed digital wallet," said the letter. "It appears that these products may lend themselves to an entirely new global financial system that is based out of Switzerland and intends to rival US monetary currency and the dollar.”

The letter continued, "This raises serious privacy, trading, national security, and monetary policy concerns for not only Facebook's over 2bn users, but also for investors, consumers, and the global economy."

While Libra has been Facebook’s project since its inception, the company plans on eventually turning Libra over to “an independent organization led by a consortium of more than 100 member companies.” Some of the companies included in the organization are Mastercard, Visa, Uber, Spotify, and Coinbase.

Facebook has been involved in its fair share of privacy scandals, so the development of its own cryptocurrency platform has raised concern. Libra would enable users to send and receive money, much like Venmo or Cash App. Facebook had previously announced plans to  integrate Libra into WhatsApp, Messenger, and Calibra, the company's digital wallet, which is in developement. 

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