On the News of Facebooks’ foray into cryptocurrency Monday, some Democratic and Republican leaders of the House Financial Services Committee called for Facebook to appear before Congress to testify on its plans for a cryptocurrency called Libra.
In a statement to Reuters, Maxine Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said Facebook should halt development of Libra, until Congress and regulators can review the issue, and called on company executives to testify before Congress.
“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,” the California Democrat said in a press release.
According to Reuters, Rep. Patrick McHenry, the top GOP member of the panel endorsed the call for hearings.
“While there is great promise for this new technology in fostering financial inclusion and faster payments, particularly in the developing world, we know there are many open questions as to the scope and scale of the project,” McHenry wrote in a letter to Waters asking for hearings. “It is incumbent upon us as policymakers to understand Project Libra.”
Waters stated that Facebook’s data privacy scandals make it a poor choice to launch a worldwide financial network.
“Facebook has data on billions of people and has repeatedly shown a disregard for the protection and careful use of this data,” she said. “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.”
The announcement is likely to further calls for regulatory oversight of the crypto market, with Waters calling it a “wake-up call” for federal agencies.
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