TL;DR: David A. Marcus, head of a Facebook subsidiary, Calibra, which will manage financial services on the Libra blockchain, returns to the hot seat in front of US lawmakers just minutes from the time of publication. It’s day 2 for Marcus, who was grilled yesterday by the Senate for more than two hours. Today, at 10am EST, he faces arguably his most ardent challenge in the House Committee on Financial Services and its ranking member, Congresswoman Maxine Waters. The cryptocurrency community is expecting fireworks, and has even devised a drinking game for watchers.
Facebook Coin Libra Testifies at House Financial Committee Hearing
“Hey peeps!” former Wall Streeter turned cryptocurrency advocate Caitlin Long half-jokingly urged, “Drinking game for tomorrow’s House Financial Scvs Committee on @facebook @Libra_: 2 shots for every time ‘money laundering’ is mentioned; 1 shot for each time ‘national security’ or ‘terrorist’ comes up….better get a designated driver!”
It’s well-placed snark for cryptocurrency veterans who have heard it all before from lawmakers, and Waters is not particularly known for her emotional sobriety when it comes to issues she is passionate about. Waters, in fact, has led the charge against Facebook Coin, coming out early and more obstinately against what she believes are its implications: a possible challenge to the US financial system and world governments’ abilities to manage monetary policies.
It’s likely Waters will press Marcus hard on requests for the Libra project to all but cease until given an official go-ahead by US lawmakers. Marcus more or less made that very concession in his remarks yesterday to senators. He managed to remain mostly unphased by, at times, rapid-fire questions, demands for a yes or no, and accusations of evasiveness or outright lies. Waters, however, is an entirely different matter. She wields among the most powerful gavels around, and Marcus, above anything else, understands a lot of Libra’s fate rests in her impressions.
Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System is the formal title of today’s hearing, and it will be streamed here. In addition to Facebook’s Marcus, Georgetown professor Chris Brummer, Columbia Law professor Katharina Pistor, MIT professor Gary Gensler, advocacy group Public Citizen’s president, Robert Weisman, and Meltem Demirors from CoinShares will all give their respective takes.
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.
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