Just a day after Facebook launched its own cryptocurrency, US lawmakers are now moving forward to block the launch which is scheduled to happen next year. Not only that, but US lawmakers are calling Facebook executives to testify before the Congress regarding user privacy and data security.
According to a report published by Reuters, Maxine Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee has moved to halt the development of Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra. Mrs Waters said that Congress should evaluate and review the project before Facebook gets a green light. She also called company executives to testify before Congress to ensure that data privacy will be the topmost priority of Facebook.
Facebook has data on billions of people and has repeatedly shown a disregard for the protection and careful use of this data. With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users.
– Maxine Waters
Facebook, on the other hand, has said that the company looks forward to answering any questions/concerns that Congress has against Libra. Unfortunately, Mrs Waters is not the only person gunning for Facebook’s latest project. Senator Sherrod Brown also released a statement calling Facebook to the stand to address the concerns.
Facebook is already too big and too powerful, and it has used that power to exploit users’ data without protecting their privacy. We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight.
– Senator Sherrod Brown
The matter is not restricted to the US as the Swiss lawmakers said they were in contact with the initiators of the Libra project but declined to comment on the matter. The Governor of Bank of England, Mark Carney said he had an “open mind” on the potential utility of the product but did warn about the strict regulations. India, on the other hand, is moving to put a complete ban on the trade and use of cryptocurrencies with a prison sentence of up to 10 years to anyone who breaks it.
Facebook is certainly not the ideal company when it comes to securing sensitive information or when it comes to the transfer of money. That said, the whole idea of cryptocurrency was to remove the monopoly and centralization of the monetary system that exists in the world right now. If used correctly, Facebook’s Libra could really change the way we do international money transfers and could create a true decentralized financial system that can’t be controlled by one single company or government.