Key Comments From Libra Hearing at US House of Representatives

The United States House of Representatives Financial Services Committee heard testimony from from Facebook’s David Marcus, today July 17. Marcus, the CEO of the Calibra wallet service for the social media giant’s forthcoming Libra stablecoin, attempted to assuage regulators’ concerns regarding the project and educate lawmakers on its purpose and potential. Cointelegraph has compiled some key quotes from the hearing, which you can view here.

[2:50] Rep. Maxine Waters, chair of the Financial Services Committee: “Demonstrated pattern of failing to keep consumer data private on a scale similar to Equifax... Facebook also allowed malicious Russian state actors to purchase and target ads”.

[5:40] Rep. Patrick McHenry: ”We’re here to go beyond the headlines… Washington must go beyond the hype to ensure that we are not the place where innovation goes to die.”

[13:49] David Marcus: “That’s what Libra is about: developing a safe, secure and low-cost way for people to send money around the world.”

[27:] McHenry: “Why are you doing this in Switzerland and why are you using a basket of currencies? Why not the good old American dollar”

Marcus: “...The choice of Switzerland has nothing to do about evading responsibilities or oversight. The goal of Switzerland is to home this Libra in an international place…” 

[0:40:10] Rep. Nydia Velasquez: “Will you commit yourself to not launch before all the concerns from the Federal Reserve and all the regulators are addressed?”

Marcus: “Absolutely Congresswoman and I want to reiterate this commitment that this was the spirit in which we announced early...”

[1:01:51] Rep. David Scott: “Neither your white paper nor your subsequent Facebook post offered any concrete details as to how you plan to implement or enforce strong Anti-Money Laundering, how you plan to enforce Know Your Customer protections, and most importantly, to ensure — and that’s what all of us are concerned about — the safety of our financial system.[...] what do you see as the responsibilities of Libra to combat money laundering, to protect our financial system?”

Marcus: “[Libra] will have an AML program and will have guidelines for all the members to enforce the AML, KYC, CFT standards. [...] Blockchain gives additional information to law enforcement and regulators compared to our current system.”

Scott: “What are you anticipating as some of the new ways that criminals may attempt to export and exploit Libra for illicit use and how are you combating [this]?” 

Marcus: “I couldn’t agree more with you Congressman, and I believe that we can improve on the current system because we have a chance this time around to think through how the network is designed, the way that the on and off ramps are properly regulated with proper KYC controls, the proper way to monitor new activity and report it with new technologies and I think this system might be potentially better on these fronts.”

[1:17:44] Rep. Sean Duffy: “Who gets to use Calibra and Libra? 

Marcus: “Anyone that can open an account, goes through KYC, in countries where we can operate.”

Duffy: “Who can use a $20 bill? [...] This $20 bill doesn’t discriminate on anything y