The US Congress has asked Facebook to halt the launch of its Libra cryptocurrency until lawmakers have had more time to investigate the ramifications of the company’s actions.
Facebook unveiled its plans for Libra on 18 June, with the Libra Association stating the cryptocurrency platform would be slated for a launch in 2020, but lawmakers are now asking for the plans to be halted.
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, hinted at a move like this last month shortly after the project was announced.
Before it proceeds any further, the House Financial Services Committee, wants to examine risks around cyber security, global financial markets and national security concerns, it said in a letter to Facebook.
The letter read:
“The scant information provided about the intent, roles, potential use, and security of the Libra and Calibra exposes the massive scale of the risks and the lack of clear regulatory protections,” it says. “If products and services like these are left improperly regulated and without sufficient oversight, they could pose systemic risks that endanger US and global financial stability.
“These risks are even more glaring in light of Facebook’s troubled past, where it did not always keep its users’ information safe. For example, Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting firm hired by the 2016 Trump campaign, had access to more than 50 million Facebook users’ private data which it used to influence voting behaviour.”