US Rep. Maxine Waters called for a moratorium on Libra development until Congress can review the situation, joining a chorus of lawmakers in the US and EU expressing concern with the project.
Facebook unveiled Libra on Tuesday, showing off a vision of global digital money controlled and issued by an association of corporations (including PayPal, MasterCard, Uber, eBay, a new Facebook subsidiary called Calibra, and more) and aimed at the world’s poor and financially disenfranchised populations, who are unable to open a bank account. The idea of corporations independently starting up a new monetary system has apparently rubbed politicians the wrong way.
On Tuesday, US Rep. Maxine Waters called for a moratorium on Libra’s development until lawmakers can examine the issue. In her statement, Waters referenced Facebook’s “troubled past.” The company has recently been embroiled in numerous privacy scandals that have seen its executives called in front of lawmakers from around the world, invitations that have largely gone unheeded except for CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s now-infamous appearance in front of Congress in 2018.
“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,” Waters said in a statement. In the statement, Waters also invited Facebook executives to testify before Congress.
Waters’ statement joins a chorus of US lawmakers expressing concern over Facebook’s project. Sen. Sherrod Brown said on Tuesday that the US “cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency,” and Sen. Mark Warner called into question Facebook’s abysmal track record in preserving people’s privacy on its platforms. Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry said that Congress must “assess this project and its potential unprecedented impact on the global financial system,” and Republican Sen. Josh Hawley told Yahoo Finance that Libra represents Facebook “expanding their monopoly.”