Facebook has finally unveiled its crypto project, dubbed “Libra”, but is now facing regulatory headwinds. Specifically, a United States chairwoman in a House of Representatives committee is now requesting Facebook to stop the project.
Rep. Maxine Waters wishes Facebook’s Libra project halted
The one calling for a halt to Facebook’s crypto plans is the Californian House Representative Maxine Waters. Representative Maxine Waters is a Democrat serving as the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee. As such, this Financial Services committee’s decisions could likely weigh heavily on Facebook, as the social media giant is targeting the financial services sector.
The news that Waters is calling for a halt on Facebook’s crypto plans came from CNN Tech reporter Brian Fung. Fung shared a number of tweets, highlighting that the House Financial Services Committee appears to be targeting Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency, Libra.
According to Rep. Waters, this foray into their cryptocurrency market is another sign of Facebook’s “unchecked expansion”. This is especially troubling, according to Waters, considering the issues and controversy surrounding Facebook in the past. As Waters put it:
“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.”
Rep. Patrick McHenry urged policymakers should “understand” Project Libra first
However, Waters – albeit being the Chair for the Financial Services Committee – was not the only one with opinions on Facebook’s Libra project. Rep. Patrick McHenry replied to her statement, noting that policymakers such as themselves need to strive to “understand” Project Libra. He went on:
“It is incumbent upon us as policymakers to understand Project Libra. We need to go beyond the rumors and speculations and provide a forum to assess this project and its potential unprecedented impact on the global financial system.”
This indicates that there are members of the committee opposing Waters’ view, who instead advocate understanding rather than halting Libra. As such, it is clear that the Financial Services Committee is, as of yet, still divided on the issue of Libra.
Consequently, the direct implications of Waters’ and McHenry’s statements remain unclear. Nevertheless, they showcase that there are differing opinions on Facebook’s Libra project. As a result, it is possible that a regulatory organ could take action to stop Facebook’s crypto project.
However, Facebook has attracted many powerful partners to the Libra Association – indicating they will have significant political sway.
Image Source: CNBC
Rasmus Pihl is a writer for Toshi Times by day and an avid follower of the cryptocurrency industry by night. Rasmus holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics, and Law and runs a Swedish marketing consulting firm. Moreover, when he isn’t writing for Toshi Times, traveling, working or changing the world in some other capacity, Rasmus is more than likely caught up in postgraduate studies.