Mark Zuckerberg to Face Congress Over Libra Again

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Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will face another grilling from congress over his company’s Libra project, alongside Libra chief David Marcus, following a request for an “immediate moratorium on the implementation of Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra, and digital wallet, Calibra” from the House Financial Services Committee. Zuckerberg and Marcus will testify on October 23 as part of a full committee hearing entitled, “An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors.”

Moratorium to Discuss “Risks and Benefits” of Libra

The committee meeting was requested by Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, back in July. In the request letter she made clear in no uncertain terms the committee’s concerns over Libra and what needed to be addressed before the token could even consider passing regulations:

Because Facebook is already in the hands of over a quarter of the world’s population, it is imperative that Facebook and its partners immediately cease implementation plans until regulators and Congress have an opportunity to examine these issues and take action. During this moratorium, we intend to hold public hearings on the risks and benefits of cryptocurrency-based activities and explore legislative solutions. Failure to cease implementation before we can do so, risks a new Swiss-based financial system that is too big to fail.

Zuckerberg Treads a Familiar Path

Zuckerberg and Marcus have both faced congress before, Zuckerberg as part of the Libra project but also infamously in 2018 as part of the investigation into the Facebook data scandal. Zuckerberg most recently got both barrels from senators during a visit to Washington in September, so he likely won’t be too keen on returning, especially given the fact that PayPal have dropped out as a Libra backer since his last visit.