TL;DR: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is set to testify today, Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 10am EST. He’ll do so alone, taking questions from Congresswoman Maxine Waters and her committee. Zuckerberg is tasked with trying to salvage Libra as governments around the world scare its partners and walls seem to be closing in.
Mark Zuckerberg Tries to Salvage Facebook Coin Libra
Within the 7 pages of his prepared remarks published before his formal testimony this morning, Zuckerberg acknowledged “there’s the question of whether Libra is intended to replace sovereign currency, and whether it’s appropriate for private companies to be involved in this kind of innovation. I want to be clear: this is not an attempt to create a sovereign currency. Like existing online payment systems, it’s a way for people to transfer money.
“Monetary policy is the province of central banks, not Libra. The Libra Association has no intention of competing with any sovereign currencies or entering the monetary policy arena. It will work with the Federal Reserve and other central banks responsible for monetary policy to make sure that is the case. We expect the regulatory framework for the Libra Association will ensure that the Association cannot interfere with monetary policy.
“Libra is also being designed with economic security and stability in mind, and it will be fully backed through the Libra Reserve. We also believe Libra presents an opportunity to strengthen the fight against financial crimes like money laundering and terrorism financing. A lot of illicit activities are funded through cash. A digital payments system with regulated on- and off-ramps and proper know your customer practices is easier to secure, and law enforcement and regulators can conduct their own analysis of on-chain activity.
“I hope we can find a way to move forward in this area, because we believe responsible innovation like Libra can give more people access to the financial tools that many of us take for granted. A digital payments system is going to be important in the future. If America doesn’t lead on this, others will. Foreign companies or countries may act without the same regulatory oversight or commitment to transparency that we have. We’re already seeing how companies with very different values are restricting people based on their beliefs. There’s no guarantee that services which support democracy and fundamental rights around expression will win out.”
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