Zuckerberg Faces Congress Scrutiny Over Libra

Over the past few years, Facebook has been experimenting quite a bit in order to make it so that its sphere of influence would potentially end up expanding beyond the world of social media into avenues that it might not have been focusing on before. One of the ventures that it has started to experiment with expanding into is the world of cryptocurrency, and it is doing this by developing its very own digital money which it is referring to as Libra.

However, it seems like Facebook and its CEO Mark Zuckerberg are not going to have all that smooth of a path when it comes to Libra, something that can be seen quite clearly when you look at the numerous roadblocks that are being faced with the establishment of this cryptocurrency. The latest hurdle that Mark Zuckerberg had to face involved a Congress hearing where he had to answer quite hard questions, with the main focus of the questions being around Libra and the various dangers that a Facebook owned cryptocurrency might pose to the world of finance in general.

Zuckerberg did have a few things to say about the importance of the cryptocurrency that he and his team have been working on. According to him, Facebook’s research into the world of cryptocurrency is going to help the US further secure its place in the global financial landscape. Zuckerberg further stated that he felt that if Facebook was not allowed to establish a cryptocurrency of its own, chances are that Chinese backed cryptocurrencies such as AliPay, which is currently under development, could end up filling the void that would be left by Libra if it fails to be established as a currency that people can use on a regular basis to fulfill the various tasks that they need to perform.

However, the various members of the panel that was questioning Zuckerberg did not seem too keen on what he was saying. The main reason why many congressmen and women were hesitant to give Zuckerberg the benefit of the doubt has to do with the fact that a cryptocurrency that is controlled entirely by a corporation could place too much power in the hands of that corporation.

Another reason has to do with the fact that Facebook does not exactly have the best track record in the world when it comes to maintaining civil liberties. Everybody still remembers the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and the scandal was brought up yet again in an attempt to make the Facebook CEO accountable in some way for the huge breaches of privacy that occurred which ended up playing a role in the US election, something that does not give Facebook that much leeway to continue doing what they please.


Congresswoman Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, someone who has been making a lot of headlines recently due to her unapologetic stance on civil liberties as well as her determination to hold corporations accountable for their actions, was particularly tough on Zuckerberg, questioning him about the lack of fact checking that Facebook does on the ads that it facilitates as well as the Cambridge Analytica disaster.

All in all it seems like Mark Zuckerberg will be facing an uphill battle when it comes to convincing the government that he should be able to make a cryptocurrency of his very own.


Photo: Andrew Harnik / Associated Press

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