US House Schedules Hearing On Facebook’s Crypto Stablecoin Project

News | June 26, 2019 By:

The US House Financial Services Committee has scheduled a hearing to examine Facebook’s stablecoin project Libra.

Maxine Waters, the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, announced on Monday that the panel will hold a hearing on July 17 on Facebook’s plan to develop a crypto stablecoin. Waters asked the social media giant to suspend the development of the Libra project until more details about Facebook’s role in Libra are made clear.

While Facebook has provided no official statement on the matter, it was reported that David Marcus, the co-creator and leader of Project Libra, is expected to testify. A Facebook spokesman said that they are looking forward to responding to lawmakers’ questions as this process moves forward.

Last week, Facebook introduced details about the Libra project, saying it had partnered Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Uber and other companies for financial backing and support of the stablecoin. The social media giant also announced the creation of a subsidiary called Calibra, which will oversee development of a digital wallet that can be used within the Facebook app, Messenger and WhatsApp services to do Libra transactions when the stablecoin launches in 2020.

Facebook claims that Libra has the potential to become a universally accepted cryptocurrency that could fundamentally change payment systems and improve financial inclusion. But the lawmakers want to know what that will mean for the US financial system, as well as consumers and investors.

Rep. Patrick McHenry, who aslo called for a hearing on Libra, said that while there is great promise for this new technology in fostering financial inclusion and faster payments, particularly in the developing world, they know there are many open questions as to the scope and scale of the project and how it will conform to our global financial regulatory framework.

Aside from the House, the Senate Banking Committee will also hold its own hearing on Facebook’s crypto project the previous day. According to reports, the same topics are expected to be brought up and the same witnesses are likely to be called.