Leak of Facebook’s Internal Q&A Sessions Reveal Early Strategy for Libra

Newly leaked audio from Q&A sessions between Facebook’s CEO and employees has revealed Facebook’s early strategy for Libra's launch.

On Oct. 1, tech news site The Verge published audio and text from two internal meetings held at Facebook in July.

Along with major topics such as Facebook’s potential breakup by regulators, Mark Zuckerberg devoted a significant part of the sessions to the company’s much-discussed cryptocurrency project Libra, which was officially unveiled in June. 

Consultative approach

Zuckerberg underlined the consultative approach around Libra, stressing that both Facebook and the Libra Association want to do their best to solve a number of issues before the actual launch of the project.

Speaking at one of the July’s meetings, Zuckerberg said:

“We want to make sure. We get that there are real issues. Finance is a very heavily regulated space. There’s a lot of important issues that need to be dealt with in preventing money laundering, preventing financing of terrorists and people who the different governments say you can’t do business with. There are a lot of requirements on knowing who your customers are.”

Private engagement is more substantive

During the session, Zuckerberg further outlined Facebook’s early strategy for courting regulators, stating that diverse proceedings around the project are going to be a long road because “this is what big engagement looks like.”

He also acknowledged that private engagement with regulators will be more substantive and less dramatic than public procedures such as mid-July hearings between the United States Banking Committee and David Marcus, head of Facebook’s crypto wallet Calibra.

On Sept. 26, Zuckerberg reportedly acknowledged the difficulty the company faces against regulatory scrutiny and public perception around Libra.

After facing skepticism from European regulators, the Federal Advisory Council of the U.S. Federal Reserve argued yesterday that Facebook is potentially creating a "shadow banking" system outside of sanctioned financial markets.

Senator Warren slams Libra again

Meanwhile, Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democratic presidential candidate and known crypto critic, recently reiterated her negative stance towards Facebook’s Libra — urging global regulators to stop giant companies from engaging in such initiatives.

In an Oct. 1 tweet in response to the leaked audio from Zuckerberg, Warren wrote:

“What would really “suck” is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”

Previously, Warren outlined a lack of evidence that Facebook does not plan to link the platform’s user data to their money transactions and keep those records.