A Missouri congressman announced this week that Facebook‘s Libra project would be monitored by the US Treasury, in addition to other agencies that have jurisdiction.
Libra has been the subject of intense scrutiny from US lawmakers as well as governments around the world.
Cleaver Sends Treasury to Watch Over Libra
The Libra Association is based in Switzerland, where typically lax regulators have said the gropu would need more than just a regular financial license.
US Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II from Missouri asked the Treasury to help monitor Libra for any potential risks the technology might present to the economy.
On his website, the congressman is quoted as saying:
“With the vast influence and reach of a company such as Facebook, it is absolutely critical that any effort to launch a cryptocurrency be met with the most stringent of examinations to ensure such an endeavor does not pose a systemic risk to the global economy.”
Cleaver is far from the only elected official in the US to show concern about Facebook’s financial ambitions. People like Congressman Brad Sherman have previously been very negative about cryptocurrencies in general, occasionally calling for an all-out ban.
Sherman was rather interrogative of CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week, who appeared before Congress to defend his cryptocurrency as well as his company’s record on other issues like racial discrimination in housing.
Democrats Gun Hard for Facebook
Cleaver continued in his announcement:
“I appreciate Facebook’s willingness to work with federal regulators as the company seeks to launch Libra, which has the potential to update—or upend—our financial system. As Facebook works down this regulatory road, it is imperative that we affirm that terror financing and money laundering is not advanced through Libra, and, according to FSOC, significant concerns remain.”
Like most cryptocurrencies, Libra falls under the purview of several agencies, including the SEC, the Treasury Department, the FBI, and more.
Despite a perception of lax regulation, any kind of financial enterprise is one of the most heavily regulated businesses in the US.
While governments seem concerned about potential privacy boosts by using crypto or even using Facebook Libra, the fact remains that the type of know-your-customer requirements put on crypto exchanges are greater than those placed on banks and other traditional companies opening accounts.
This is to say that, potentially, it’s easier for a terrorist to use a bank account than to use cryptocurrency.