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Senate Releases Opening Statements on Libra Ahead of Senate Hearing

The United States Senate Banking Committee has released the opening statements of David Marcus, head of Facebook’s crypto wallet Calibra today, July 15. The statements come ahead of a hearing on the Libra cryptocurrency project tomorrow in the Senate, in which Marcus will testify.

In his testimony, Marcus raised the issue of Facebook’s upcoming stablecoin Libra and its associated digital wallet Calibra, which have previously drawn criticism from both community members, lawmakers and leading industry players. Specifically, Marcus delivered comments on the structure and management of Libra and Calibra and their implications for commerce and  consumers.

Marcus writes that no sole organization should be responsible for the Libra Blockchain and the Libra Reserve; instead, there should be a cooperative approach. Thus, Facebook is ostensibly working on the creation of the Libra Association, which is an independent membership-based organization. Once Libra is launched, Facebook’s role in governing the association will ostensibly be equal to that of other members. 

According to Marcus, Facebook will not launch Libra until the company satisfies all matters related to the stablecoin’s regulation and receives appropriate approvals. Marcus continued:

“State financial regulators will regulate Calibra as a money transmitter, and the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will monitor for consumer protection and data privacy and security issues. Calibra has filed for state money transmitter licenses in the U.S. and it is also registered with FinCEN as a money services business.”

Marcus further stated that Libra is a payment tool, and not an investment, which means that users will not be able to buy or hold it like a stock to subsequently gain interest on it. Per Marcus, Libra also differs from other currency-backed stablecoins as it will not have its value fixed to any single asset, specifying:

“Libra will be fully backed on a one-to-one basis through the Libra Reserve, which will hold a basket of currencies in safe assets such as cash bank deposits and highly liquid, short-term government securities. These currencies will include the U.S. dollar, the British pound, the euro, and the Japanese yen.”

Yesterday, a drafted bill entitled “Keep Big Tech out of Finance” surfaced online, allegedly originating from within the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee. The bill read, “A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.”



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