Politicians from across the world have been all over Facebook’s announcement about project Libra. The first commentary came from the French Minister of Finance with concerns over Libra’s effect on sovereign currencies. The United States was quick to step in as well with a congresswoman asking Facebook to completely halt developments until a congress hearing takes place, to evaluate the project thoroughly.
Congressional hearings are not a novelty for Facebook. In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg was “grilled for about 10 hours by nearly 100 legislators” over privacy concerns and consumer protection. Nonetheless, Zuckerberg agreed that proper and fitting regulations must be applied. During his hearing, he assured a congressman that his team will draw up suggestions for possible regulations and work with lawmakers to enforce them.
Today, Facebook is back at Capitol Hill with another congressional hearing at 15:00 London time. Only this time, the hearing will revolve around Facebook’s project Libra and will be lead by David Marcus, Head of Calibra. We expect the U.S congress to question David Marcus about four main topics: consumer protection, privacy, regulations and AML/CFT. Although the launch date is expected to be in 2020, David Marcus said Facebook won’t launch Libra until regulators’ concerns are resolved.
President Trump already expressed his concerns about Libra, mainly around the potential negative effect on the US dollar. His comment was similar to many countries’ responses. Nonetheless, according to the prepared testimony released by the Senate Banking Committee, David Marcus will say: “The Libra Association, which will manage the Reserve, has no intention of competing with any sovereign currencies or entering the monetary policy arena”