Congress and the Bitcoin community react to Facebook’s Libra

Congress and the Bitcoin community react to Facebook’s Libra

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Facebook’s Libra, the new blockchain and payment system from the social media company, is the big topic in the digital currency space right now, and reactions are coming in from all corners. U.S. Congress members have quickly spoken up about the topic, and the world of Bitcoin has plenty to say too.

CNN’s tech reporter Brian Fung reported that Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters was quick to weigh in on Facebook’s plans, and she doesn’t seem to be a fan. She called it “unchecked expansion” by the internet giant, and she went so far as to ask Facebook to stop work on the project and come in to testify.

In an written statement, Waters pointed to Facebook’s checkered history with social responsibility, allowing “malicious and fake accounts,” Russian intelligence meddling, and human trafficking. She also pointed to data leaks, a problem that could be disastrous if Libra gets the 1 billion plus users that it hopes for.

CoinDesk points out in their reporting that there is growing bipartisan support for Waters calls for more testimony and regulation on Facebook. She’s joined by Republican Rep. Patrick McHenry, who wrote:

“It is incumbent upon us as policymakers to understand Project Libra. We need to go beyond the rumors and speculations and provide a forum to assess this project and its potential unprecedented impact on the global financial system.”

Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown also poured cold water on Facebook’s plans, tweeting:

The Bitcoin world has seen the entry of Libra as a positive, either as a way of adding some legitimacy to the world of cryptocurrencies, or as a useful contrast to what’s already been built in the public blockchain sector. “Early bitcoin and crypto people are viewed as anarchists—many are anti government anti establishment with anti bank rhetoric—that’s why the big financial institutions have been wary of investing and supporting cryptocurrency,” said Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen. “When you have a big list of institutional players come in, it does provide more legitimacy to this industry.”

GAP600, the cryptocurrency payment transaction enablement company and Bitcoin SV (BSV) supporter, posted a couple of tweets on the topic, noting that this is great news for BSV, who will benefit from the denationalization of money.

Others in the twitterverse keenly pointed out that Libra could just as easily be tracked in a database rather than a blockchain, and some pointed out that it isn’t really a cryptocurrency. The biggest mark against it though might be in it’s choice of a permissioned blockchain, blocking off development from aspiring projects. BSV King concluded:

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