Facebook recently announced its cryptocurrency project and it seems this launch may be halted for a bit as the US Congress is calling for a hearing on the project.
The House Financial Services Committee, through its chairwoman Maxine Waters, announced that her panel will hold a meeting with Facebook next month to discuss Project Libra, Facebook's foray into the cryptocurrency world. The meeting is scheduled on July 17 – a day after a separate hearing with the Senate Banking Committee happens.
Facebook announced its cryptocurrency project last week named, Project Libra. Although owned by Facebook, Project Libra will be operated by the non-profit Libra Association.
According to Facebook, Project Libra will be separate from Facebook – yet it will be Facebook's own payment system which will be based on a cryptocurrency. Facebook also announced that other business entities will be supporting Project Libra, including Uber, Mastercard, Spotify and Coinbase.
The mention of those names possibly triggers the lawmakers call for the suspension of Project Libra until they have weighed in and questioned Facebook executives thoroughly. According to the House panel, Project Libra has the potential to have an unprecedented impact on the global financial system. The Senate Banking Committee shares the same qualms about Facebook's cryptocurrency project that's why it's also calling for a meeting with Facebook executives.
Expected to testify on Monday's hearing is Project Libra's co-creator and leader, David Marcus. There are no words yet on who will represent Facebook during the hearing. Facebook declined to confirm the names of its representatives. The company, however, assures the House panel that Facebook is looking forward answering the questions and clarifications of the lawmakers.
The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Mike Crapo scheduled the hearing on July 16. As early as now, some senators are already voicing out their opposition to Project Libra. Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown angrily said that Facebook is set to run a risky new cryptocurrency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight.
From the looks of it, Facebook and Project Libra is up to a great battle ahead. Its fight has just begun even before it has become an official financial entity.