The chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, announced on Monday that it will hold a hearing on July 17 to review Facebook’s plans for Libra, the tech giant’s new cryptocurrency-based payments platform that it expects to roll out in 2020 for billions of users worldwide. Since Facebook officially announced the upcoming launch of Libra last week, it has triggered an onslaught of criticism and concern from regulators and policymakers around the globe.
The new cryptocurrency, a stablecoin that is pegged to multiple currencies, has the potential to make a major impact on the global financial system. It will allow people to move money around, both domestically and across borders, without a bank. The Libra coin has been called a threat to banks and the US dollars. Facebook, however, calls it a revolutionary way for people to send money around the world as easily as sending an email.
In addition to the Financial Services Committee, the Senate Banking Committee will hold another Facebook Libra hearing on July 16.
Project leader and blockchain specialist David Marcus, who helms the Libra initiative, is expected to testify at both hearings.
The Hill reports that Facebook is fully prepared to answer questions in order to leverage its global user base to transform the financial services industry. In an email reply, the social media giant says,
“We look forward to responding to lawmakers’ questions as this process moves forward.”
Despite the fact that the project will be operated by a non-profit entity comprised of 27 companies, known as the Libra Association, US legislators are doubling down on efforts to put the brakes on the entire project. House members claim that the massive crypto initiative is not well understood and that given Facebook’s history of compromising its users’ private data,