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Congress calls for immediate moratorium on Zuckerberg’s new cryptocurrency.

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The House financial Services Committee said the “systemic risks” posed by Facebook’s cryptocurrency platform “are even more obvious in light of Facebook’s troubled past, where it didn’t perpetually keep its users’ data safe.”

House lawmakers are formally requesting that Facebook put an end to its cryptocurrency efforts—at least for now. in a letter sent to Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg , COO Sheryl Sandberg , and Calibra chief executive officer David Marcus , the House Financial Services Committee asked Facebook and its partners to “immediately comply with a moratorium on any movement forward on Libra—its proposed cryptocurrency and Calibra—its proposed digital wallet.” Citing the cryptocurrency’s “intention” to rival U.S. monetary policy and therefore the dollar,”

Law makers said the proposed monetary system “raises serious privacy, trading, national security, and monetary policy concerns for not solely Facebook’s over 2 billion users, however also for investors, consumers, and the broader world economy.”

Facebook 1st declared Libra in June as a brand new cryptocurrency effort that Zuckerberg hoped would “make it straightforward for everyone to send and receive cash just like you use our apps to instantly share messages and photos.” although Facebook is behind the cryptocurrency’s technical creation, the corporate has proposed it’d be one of100 partners to possess a say in the cryptocurrency, which would be overseen by a neutral “Libra Association” in Switzerland. Facebook’s seeming willingness to cede full management over Libra, as well as its insistence that the platform will be secure, appears designed to deflect criticism based on the company’s past privacy failings—but Congress isn’t buying their promises.

Lawmakers wrote that the “systemic risks” posed by the cryptocurrency platform—especially without decent oversight and regulations—“are even more obvious in light of Facebook’s troubled past, where it didn’t perpetually keep its users’ data safe.” The House Committee pointed to the Cambridge Analytica scandal to bolster its point, together with the proliferation of fake Facebook accounts displaying “terrorist propaganda and hate speech” and lawsuits that have been brought against the corporate for violating fair housing laws.

“Because Facebook is already in the hands of a over quarter of the world’s population, it’s imperative that Facebook and its partners right away cease implementation plans until regulators and Congress have a chance to examine these problems and take action,” the letter, which was signed by Financial Services chair Rep. Maxine Waters and subcommittee chairs Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Wm. Lacy Clay, Al Green, and Stephen F. Lynch, reads. “During this moratorium, we will hold public hearings on the risks and advantages of cryptocurrency-based activities and explore legislative solutions. Failure to cease implementation before we will do so, risks a new Swiss-based financial system that’s too huge to fail.”

The official House letter came after Waters verbally demanded a moratorium soon after Libra’s announcement, saying Facebook was “continuing its unchecked enlargement and extending its extend to the lives of its users.” although solely Democratic lawmakers signed on to Tuesday’s letter, the committee’s Facebook criticism seems to have bipartisan support; Rep. Patrick McHenry, the committee’s ranking Republican, previously urged Waters to call for hearings into the cryptocurrency. The Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, which is Republican-led, has also asked Facebook to provide more clarity on their cryptocurrency plans. The Senate banking committee will hold a hearing on Libra July 16, whereas the House committee will hold its 1st hearing into Libra and its “impact on consumers, investors, and the American financial system” July 17.

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