Business

Derek Tonin

Consumer protection groups call on Libra members to quit

Facebook’s Libra is getting it from all sides. After facing opposition from several world governments, the Libra Association is now facing backlash from consumer groups.

The Open Markets Institute, Public Citizen, Revolving Door Project and Demand Progress Education Fund have joined together to plead with the members of Libra to just stop. In an open letter, they wrote, “We call upon you as respected members of the business, financial, technology, and civil society communities to collectively withdraw from the Libra project.”

It’s not the stated goal of banking the unbanked that worries the consumer groups, it’s the obvious lack of planning and certainty around Libra that have them worried. “Achieving a laudable goal should not be cheapened with a project whose aims are in fact unclear and whose leadership structure is based on fear,” the letter stated.

They go on to suggest that many of the members, companies that are either threatened by the rise of Bitcoin (Visa or Mastercard) or those who desperately need to find a way to start making a profit (Uber) might have been bullied into this business proposition by the all-powerful Facebook, with its billions of users. They write:

We understand that Facebook is a powerful company, and that it has in part generated a climate of fear with its market dominance. But if you collectively withdraw from the project, it will signal that the just-beginning era of digital money will be based on fair rules and democratic deliberation, and not intimidation by the powerful.

They even went so far as to point to the recent Washington, D.C., hearings as proof of how sloppy and slapped together Libra appears to be. No one was very impressed with the performance of David Marcus, Calibra executive, who failed to answer many of the Senate’s and House of Representative’s questions.

While Marcus promised that Libra won’t launch without the approvals of all regulatory bodies, Congress and other government bodies are just plain worried that Facebook’s plot could destabilize the world’s financial systems at worst, but at a minimum, could very well become another tool of criminals.

Image credit: https://www.alpari.org

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