US House Representatives Worried Libra Could Have Illegal Uses

Multiple members of the United States House of Representatives have been briefed on Facebook’s upcoming Libra crypto. Specifically, the House Representatives have received information on how Libra could be used for illegal ends.

Could Libra be used illegally? Well, duh

This information came from the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), Kenneth Blanco. Reportedly, the briefing included a look at how criminals could potentially use Libra for illicit financing, money laundering, illicit financing, or other criminal activities. What’s more, news of the meeting came via a press release from Representative Emanuel Cleaver II.

Cleaver was present during the briefing, as were Representatives Trey Hollingsworth, French Hill and Bill Foster. Notably, all of these are members of the US Committee on Financial Services. As such, they hold significant sway when it comes to approving or protesting financial services.

Representative Cleaver, chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy, urged Congress to take action. In fact, Cleaver even issued a stark statement on the matter:

“With the evolution of virtual currencies and new marketplaces, nefarious actors are continuously adapting to find new ways to engage in illegal financial activity. […] Now that we’re seeing a giant corporation like Facebook—which has already shown an inability to identify and impede these kinds of actors at an acceptable level—creating its own virtual currency called Libra, it cannot be understated the importance of Congress and financial transmitters to be proactive in utilizing the newest and most powerful technologies to ensure the financial system is not being used improperly.”

Is the House’s problem crypto or Bitcoin?

What’s more, Blanco raised the possibility of employing machine learning and artificial intelligence. He argued that ongoing research into these areas could be used to regulate cryptocurrencies.

Nonetheless, it is clear that many of these concerns stem from Facebook’s role in the 2016 elections. What’s more, it has previously been suggested that cryptocurrencies were used to fund election interference from Russian agents. As such, Cleaver seemed opposed to that Facebook should be able to launch its own cryptocurrency.

“We’ve seen the significant damage that foreign adversaries and bad actors have wrought on our democracy through Facebook’s platform, and that was simply through messaging and advertising.”

Nevertheless, the Financial Services Committee has scheduled talks with Facebook regarding Libra on July 17th. This came following significant regulatory backlash against Libra. It remains to see what comes of those talks with the social media giant.

Image Source: The Kansas City Star

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