Congress Representative Wants Facebook to Put a Hold on Cryptocurrency Plans
American Democratic Representative Maxine Water wants Facebook to temporarily put off all implementation plans for its cryptocurrency until Congress investigates it for potential risks, as reported by The Verge, June 18, 2019.
Troubles Begin for Libra
Less than a day after the project was formally announced, and the whitepaper released, Facebook’s cryptocurrency is already being targeted by authorities for an examination of risks to the global economy.
Historically, Facebook has done their best to accommodate the concerns of lawmakers, but it isn’t clear whether they will be willing to halt development to allow Congress to investigate the viability of such a service. Because this isn’t a clear order from the House of Representatives, Facebook is not obliged to follow any directives, though they may meet Congress halfway to gain favorable traction with lawmakers.
The concerns stem from Facebook’s growing dominance over data collection and social media. Their entry into payments may spell disaster for the traditional remittance market by allowing users across the globe to seamlessly exchange value with their cryptocurrency.
A dystopian scenario many people have speculated upon is one in which Facebook dominates the payment space and continues their autocratic data collection and privacy infringement, but their sheer size and power will render governments across the globe incapable of curbing their monopoly.
Maxine Waters, the chair for the House Financial Services Committee, said the following in a statement:
“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. 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.”
Congress’ doubts over Facebook’s new project are indeed valid, but if Facebook registers as a money services business and earns the required licenses, all of their actions will be in line with the law.
A company like Facebook is sure to have thoroughly investigated the risk associated with such an offering and developed their product in a way that increases chances for regulatory acceptance.