Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will face the heat from US regulators once again over Libra later this month. The House Financial Services Committee has announced that Zuckerberg will testify before the committee at an October 23rd hearing. Titled “An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors”, Zuckerberg will be the sole witness at the hearing.
The Chairwoman of the committee, Maxine Waters, and other Committee Democrats had sent a letter to Facebook in July requesting an immediate moratorium on the implementation of Libra and its digital wallet Calibra.
In addition, Waters had also convened a hearing titled, “Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System,” with testimony from Calibra CEO David Marcus. The committee members had discussed a draft bill, the “Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act”, at the hearing.
The draft legislation prohibits large platforms such as Facebook, from becoming chartered, licensed or registered as a U.S. financial institution (e.g. like taxpayer-backed banks, investment funds, and stock exchanges) or otherwise become affiliated with such financial institutions. More importantly, the bill also prohibits large platform utilities from establishing, maintaining, or operating a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as a medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function as defined by the Federal Reserve.
Incidentally, UK’s central bank has also announced new provisions that Facebook Libra must comply with in order to be issued in the country.