On July 16 and 17, the US Congress held hearings on the Libra cryptocurrency project of Facebook. The dispute between the government and the company flared up after the official announcement by Mark Zuckerberg of the future digital currency. Authorities have repeatedly urged Facebook to suspend the development of the project, but company representatives ignored all calls for Congress.
David Markus, head of the blockchain division of Facebook, spoke at the hearing on behalf of the company. In defense of the project, many theses were said, of which we singled out the main ones:
- The security of the system will ensure its partial isolation. Facebook will only use Calibra’s own crypto wallet, which will be built into Messenger and WhatsApp.
- The location of the Libra Association Headquarters in Switzerland is not related to tax evasion, but to be there because of its proximity to international financial groups, such as the Bank for International Settlements. Despite this, David noted that Calibra will be regulated by the Financial Crimes Department of the US Treasury.
- With this project, Facebook is not going to sell or monetize user data. In the event that the wallet will have additional services, the company will ask users for permission to use the data for specific purposes.
- The main motivator for Facebook to do its own cryptocurrency project, has become a strong growth and development of the blockchain. As Marcus stated, if the United States does not take a leading position in this industry, then these sectors will be led by countries “inaccessible to the US national security apparatus,” for example, China.
However, some of the issues that are problematic and important for Congress have remained unanswered. According to the American media, David Markus skillfully used the fact that Facebook is not leading this project, but is only one of its partners. Thus, unanswered questions such as “will the company collect data on transactions?” Or “how much exactly Facebook and Calibra are going to invest in the project?”.