Over the last few years, Facebook‘s management has found itself appearing before US Congress a number of times for several reasons. One of the most notable was its hearing over the Cambridge Analytica scandal when it was revealed that Facebook had been mishandling user data. One of their most recent appearances was a few months ago when the white paper for the Libra token was first released and Facebook representatives appeared to assuage any fears about the token as well as try to clear the regulatory pathway for it.
Now, on October 23, 2019, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg once again appeared before US Congress to discuss the Libra token as well as the accompanying Calibra wallet and what the plans for the token are moving forward.
Zuckerberg Goes to Washington
During the hearing, Zuckerberg answered questions about Facebook as a company, the libra token, their handling of user data and so on. During the hearing, Zuckerberg reiterated that Facebook will not move ahead with the token launch unless the Libra token receives regulator approval from US authorities. According to him, Facebook considers itself a US company and as such, will not move forward without this regulation. Furthermore, when asked about what Facebook would you should the Libra association insist on moving forward with the token without US regulatory approval, Zuckerberg stated that Facebook would withdraw from the association altogether.
Rep. Juan Vargas Stated that he is rather skeptical of Zuckerberg’s answer because he believes that the Libra Association cannot continue to exist without Facebook and also stated that Libra association is now formally based in Switzerland and that such, Zuckerberg answer seems sketchy. He also brought up the fact that several of the founding members of the Libra association such as MasterCard and PayPal have withdrawn from the project. In response, Zuckerberg stated that he believes more companies will come on board as time goes on.
Zuckerberg also touched on China by stating that the Chinese government is actively preparing a national digital token and that he believes that libra would be a strong competitor to this and can help the United States maintain its financial dominance.
“China is moving quickly to launch a similar idea in the coming months. We can’t sit here and assume that because America is today the leader that it will always get to be the leader if we don’t innovate. Libra will be backed mostly by dollars and I believe it will extend America’s financial leadership as well as our democratic values and oversight around the world. If America doesn’t innovate, our financial leadership is not guaranteed,” he said.