Since the release of the whitepaper of its cryptocurrency, Facebook has met regulatory pushbacks globally. But, the tech giant wants to plead its case. Yesterday, news medium The Hill posted a report which revealed that David Marcus, the Blockchain Lead at Facebook, wrote a letter to Maxine Waters (D-CA), the Chairwoman of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services, assuring legislators that Libra will be fully co-operational.
While a hearing has been set on Libra, Marcus reportedly wrote to the committee and its members to assure them of Facebook’s commitment to ensuring that the digital asset works right. Besides being Facebook’s blockchain chief, Marcus is also listed as a co-creator of Libra and head of Facebook’s Calibra division. Essentially, if you want to buy cryptocurrency, that’s Facebook’s version of it, Marcus is your guy.
Speaking on the issue of privacy, Marcus said the Libra blockchain would function as others do—keeping personal data away from the transactions. “Similar to existing and widespread cryptocurrencies such as ethereum and bitcoin, transactions that take place directly on the Libra Blockchain are ‘pseudonymous,’ meaning that the user’s identity is not publicly visible,” he wrsote.
His letter is only the latest in a series of back and forths between Facebook and the government institution. All of it began a day after Facebook released the whitepaper for Libra. While insiders in both the financial and tech industries examined the whitepaper for some kinks to talk about, Congresswoman Waters reportedly urged the social media giant to cease work on Libra in the interim.
NEW: The top lawmakers on the House Financial Services Committee are targeting Facebook’s new cryptocurrency, #Libra.
Chairwoman Maxine Waters says it’s another example of Facebook’s “unchecked expansion,” urges execs to testify and calls on FB to stop working on the currency. pic.twitter.com/xOklWsfLdx
— Brian Fung (@b_fung) June 18, 2019
In her statement, the Committee chair expressed concerns over Facebook’s “troubled past,” most likely in reference to the company’s history of data handling indiscretions. She further called for a moratorium on the development on the currency until such a time when “Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action.”
In light of regulators’ concerns, the House Financial Services Committee has set a hearing on Libra. In a press release announcing its calendar for July, the Committee set the Libra hearing for July 17, and it is expected to present its most significant concerns, including those pertaining to Libra’s operation and security infrastructure, to the company’s management.
The same was done by the Senate Committee on Banking and Urban Development. The Senate Committee, which wrote an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg concerning the cryptocurrency project back in May, reportedly set its Libra hearing for July 16, in a session titled, “Examining Facebook’s Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations.”
Marcus himself is rumored to be in attendance at both hearings, and a portion of the spotlight will definitely be on him. The insights and answers he gives will go a long way in determining how much faith both committees will put in Libra. This public hearing is a make-or-break season for Facebook. Failure to convince the legislators and we might as well kiss Libra goodbye.