U.S. lawmakers are moving to stop Facebook from launching Libra

21 Juin, 2019, 12:28 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Facebook announced Tuesday June 18 the details of its cryptocurrency called Libra. Like bitcoin the best-known virtual currency it will rely on blockchain technology

The announcement comes one day after the social media giant unveiled plans to launch a global cryptocurrency, which immediately attracted attention from regulators across the globe, and skepticism from Washington.

Brown and Waters both called on financial regulators to examine the new currency project closely. A cryptocurrency is a kind of money that does not exist in the form of bills or coins.

Libra could open online purchasing to millions of people who do not have access to bank accounts and could reduce the cost of sending money across borders. The blockchain permits the activity records to be checked and stored securely.

In early May, the Senate's banking committee sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg requesting details on the cryptocurrency platform and how the company plans to protect consumers' personal and financial information.

Another article from 2012 indicates Libra may not be Facebook's first attempt at a global currency. Libra is designed so transaction amounts are visible, but transaction participants can be anonymous - at least until they move money into real-world accounts. "No matter where you live, what you do, or how much you earn".

On Tuesday, a Facebook representative said the company looked forward to answering lawmaker questions. Unlike the others, the company says, Libra's value will be tied to real money backed by banks and government securities in major currencies like the USA dollar, euro, yen and others.

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The Libra system will also be supported by several traditional financial companies, including PayPal, Visa, Mastercard and eBay.

"Given all the scrutiny Facebook has been under the past year or so and given what a bold endeavor this is, I'm sure they expected to get questions from regulators", Travis Scher, vice president of investments at the Digital Currency Group, told Cheddar on Wednesday.

Facebook said it had taken major steps to create a system that is private and secure. People using Calibra will first have to go through a process to confirm their identities.

Calibra said it won't use financial data to target ads on Facebook. Businesses will see the same information about users who pay with Libra as they do about users paying with credit cards, the company said.

Facebook's move into the financial sector was met with immediate criticism from US lawmakers and regulators around the world, considering the company's history of failing to protect users' data and privacy. Bloomberg reports France's finance minister said the idea of a Facebook coin was "out of the question".

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