Facebook is yet to launch its cryptocurrency project but lawmakers are still unhappy from Libra and it has been facing a pretty tough time. During the quarterly earnings call that was held on Wednesday, Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of social media giant, took the opportunity to address investors, post constant grilling, Libra has been facing.
Zuckerberg stressed that the company is committed to working with the policy markers in order to get this project right. He added:
We’ve opened a period of, however long it takes to address regulators and different experts and constituents’ questions about this and then figure out what the best way to move forward is.
Safe to say that the social media giant’s endeavor in the decentralized space of crypto has forced some real hesitations to surface. However Mark Zuckerberg isn’t ready to back down and says that the company will spend “however long it takes” to appease regulators and get them on board with the project. He assured the investors that the company would act responsibly with its development of Libra in order to realize its goal for helping the unbanked around the globe.
Facebook launched the whitepaper for its forthcoming cryptocurrency earlier in June through the Libra Association, which consists of prominent names from the industry including Mastercard, Uber, Andreessen Horowitz and Women’s World Banking. The whitepaper was supposed to address all the queries regarding its cryptocurrency, which had been in the works on the down low for quite some time.
Speaking of regulators and policy makers, they haven’t exactly been going easy on Facebook’s cryptocurrency project. Case in point, the recent U.S. congressional hearings regarding the crypto backed by the platform. New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addressed the control of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency during the United States House Committee on Financial Services hearing on July 18th. She, after going back and forth with the Calibra wallet CEO David Marcus, summed up Libra as “a currency controlled by an undemocratically-selected coalition of largely massive corporations.”
Even the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump is opposing the platform’s cryptocurrency project. According to a tweet of his on July 12th, he said that Facebook Libra’s “virtual currency” would have little standing or dependability. Mr. Trump further added:
If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks
Reportedly, a mysterious bill, titled “Keep Big Tech out of Finance”, dated 12th July, surfaced online, which as reportedly presented to the Financial Services Committee of the United States House of Representatives. the bill The bill happens to be legitimate and proposed that:
A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
Many in the crypto community believe that timing of the government taking such a keen interest in cryptocurrency, is peculiar and hints on the government’s insecurity when it comes to decentralized currency.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been around for quite some time now, however it’s only with the supposed entrance of Facebook into this space that the American government has been forced to suddenly jump on its feet and quickly get up to speed on the potential behind cryptocurrencies.
When you think about it, it is understandable that the U.S. government is skeptical about social media giant’s Libra. Facebook’s international tech conglomerate, attempts to issue a fiat-backed digital currency that theoretically has the potential to see more use than the traditional government-issued fiat currencies.
However, Mark Zuckerberg is willing to play the nice guy here. During his call he stated that Facebook’s approach towards Libra is “to try and have an open dialogue”. He also emphasized that Facebook tries to detail what specific “ideas and … values we think an eventual service should have. As opposed to the platform’s approach a few years ago when the company would’ve just gone ahead and launched a new product.
While addressing the plethora of questions being thrown at the platform regarding Libra, he said:
We worked with the 27 other members of the Association to publish the white paper to put the idea out there, expecting that this is a very important and heavily regulated area and that there were going to be a lot of questions. And we’re going to have to work through that.
Zuckerberg’s words add weight to the statements made by David Marcus, Facebook’s blockchain lead during the back-to-back hearings with the Congress. Marcus like Zuckerberg, assured legislators that Facebook would not launch Libra until all regulatory questions have been answered.
The social media giant initially planned to launch its cryptocurrency in the first half of 2020, but the push back that the project has faced from regulators and politicians has put a question mark on the planned timeline.