US House Financial Services Committee Announces Date For Libra Hearing

By Rushali Shome

The hotly debated and much anticipated Libra cryptocurrency project will be discussed by the US House Financial Services Committee as the body has finally set a date for the hearing next week. The hearing has been scheduled for 17th July, 2019, as per the official press release published by the body.

The hearing is titled as “Examining Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System”. It will be attended by the entire committee of the House of Representatives and will likely be presided over Rep. Maxine Waters, the chairperson of the body.

Right from the start, Maxine Waters has been one of the vocal critics of Facebook’s crypto project and had even issued a request to the social media major to discontinue its initiative.

Moreover, the fact that the company has earlier been at loggerheads with legislators over issues like data privacy is also furrowing the brows of House members.

Its tryst with blockchain and crypto, two supposedly decentralized systems, might have interesting repercussions if we keep Facebook’s track record in mind and the hearing is expected to throw light on the many facets of the problem.

Speaking to CNBC, and expressing her aversion to and concerns surrounding the project, Waters had earlier said:

“It’s very important for them to stop right now what they’re doing so that we can get a handle on this. We’ve got to protect our consumers. We just can’t allow them to go to Switzerland with all of its associates and begin to compete with the dollar.”

Waters is hardly the only legislator getting uncomfortable around the implications of the Libra project. Bruno Le Maire, the French Finance Minister, has also expressed his concerns about the new cryptocurrency, raising questions about its ability to disrupt national economies and law and order systems.

However, if past events are anything to go, this House hearing stands to be one of the most daunting hurdles Facebook must pass, before it can take its cryptocurrency project to projected heights.

Rushali Shome

Rushali Shome is a history undergraduate with a keen interest in puns, politics and beyond. When not typing away furiously in the “Notes” section of her phone, she can be found trying to catch the eye of servers at restaurants or weddings for a second helping.

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