Lawmakers in the US Congress have told Facebook to "immediately cease implementation plans" until it has time to properly explore the possible ramifications. More time is needed for a House committee to investigate cybersecurity and financial market risks associated with the Libra digital currency.
The request was made via a letter from Democratic heads of the house committee on financial services and its subcommittees. It says: "Because Facebook is already in the hands of over a quarter of the world’s population, it is imperative that Facebook and its partners immediately cease implementation plans until regulators and Congress have an opportunity to examine these issues and take action."
Facebook is spearheading the project, along with several other companies including Visa, Lyft, Spotify and Vodafone, which includes a new digital wallet called Calibra. The actual implementation of Libra is being handled by a Swizz operation in Geneva titled the Libra Association. According to reports, the letter was delivered to Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and David Marcus, Libra’s chief executive.
Authorities in the US are clearly worried that products and services like these, if not properly regulated and implemented without sufficient oversight, could pose systemic risks that endanger global financial stability. Facebook has said that Libra will be regulated just like other payment providers, but that doesn't seem to have satisfied US Congress.
While this call for a pause is likely to be respected by the Libra Association, the length of delay could end up being relatively short. The congressional committee is convening a full hearing examining Libra on 17 July. In an AndroidPIT poll last week, only 6 percent of readers said that they would use Libra.
Do you think this is a sensible move from US lawmakers? Let us know.