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US Lawmaker’s Trip to Switzerland Doesn’t Help Libra’s Cause

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August 26, 2019 | 

752 Views | 

Darryn Pollock | 

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The chair of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee, Maxime Walters, has continued her warpath against Libra by stating that their visit to Switzerland did not help Libra in convincing them that the privately-issued cryptocurrency will be any better regulated. 

Walters was at the head of the crusade against Libra when it was first announced. She called on Facebook to attend a hearing in the Senate to answer questions about the social media giant issuing a cryptocurrency. The hearing was not a good one for Libra as many concerns were raised that the new cryptocurrency wallet agreed to address. 

Facebook have returned to the drawing board in many respects as they look to overcome global regulatory concerns. These include not being able to launch in India, because of its total anti-crypto attitude. 

Their latest attempt to appease lawmakers came when Walters and her delegates traveled to Switzerland, where the company is registered, to discuss how to regulate things with government officials in Switzerland.

Concerns remain

According to Reuters, Walters was not too convinced by what the Swiss had to say about allowing this tech giant the freedom to launch its own type of currency. 

“While I appreciate the time that the Swiss government officials took to meet with us, my concerns remain with allowing a large tech company to create a privately controlled, alternative global currency,” Congresswoman Maxine Waters said in a statement.

Waters met representatives from Switzerland’s State Secretariat for International Financial Matters, the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority, and Swiss legislators.

The congresswoman did explain that the officials were helpful in understanding the “status, complexity, and magnitude of Facebook’s plans,” she said, however, it does not look as if they have helped quell her general concerns.

A bigger issue

On the whole, it appears as if the concerns raised by walters in regards to the launch of a cryptocurrency do not necessarily sit with the cryptocurrency, but are rather being raised against Facebook. The social media giant has been before the Senate before when it faced scrutiny about data privacy leaks. 

Walter’s claimed in her initial response to Facebook and its Libra program that the world learnt it could not trust Facebook with its data, so why should it be trusting the company with its finances. More so, central banks have also weighed in on Facebook’s attempt to launch a currency, retaining that they should be the only ones to have that sort of right.

Facebook have always maianted that Libra will be fully regulated before it launches, however, with the push back they have faced since announcing that may well be a bridge too far. It has been said that if Facebook cannot get Libra to be full compliant, then the project may not launch at all.

It is unfortunate that this idea had to come from a platform like Facebook’s whose reputation is damaged and now is causing pushback on a potential revolutionary cryptocurrency adoption wave. The idea of over 2 billion people being introduced to crypto through Facebook’s platforms could spell a new world order of finance. 

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