Facebook’s Marcus Defends Libra To House Financial Services Chair

David Marcus Says Libra Is About Giving Everyone Access To Economy

The head of Facebook’s new cryptocurrency project, Libra, is defending the company in a letter to Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and other members of the House Financial Services Committee.

David Marcus wrote that the company is vowing to answer policymakers’ “important questions,” according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Hill before hearings on the issue.

“I want to give you my personal assurance that we are committed to taking the time to do this right,” Marcus wrote.

Last month, Waters, who is the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, called for a moratorium on the digital currency.

“With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users,” she wrote. “The cryptocurrency market currently lacks a clear regulatory framework to provide strong protections for investors, consumers, and the economy. Regulators should see this as a wake-up call to get serious about the privacy and national security concerns, cybersecurity risks, and trading risks that are posed by cryptocurrencies. Given the company’s troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action. Facebook executives should also come before the Committee to provide testimony on these issues.”

Other members, including Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney (NY), Wm. Lacy Clay (MO), Al Green (TX) and Stephen Lynch (MA), have also expressed concerns over the potential for the new crypto to attract hackers.

In response, Marcus stated, “We understand that big ideas take time, that policymakers and others are raising important questions, and that we can’t do this alone.”

“We want, and need, governments, central banks, regulators, non-profits, and other stakeholders at the table and value all of the feedback we have received,” he wrote.

In addition, Marcus explained that the Swiss nonprofit Libra Association, which will operate the cryptocurrency, has already released its plans to address issues brought up by policymakers.

“Libra is about a big idea,” Marcus wrote. “The goal of the Libra Association is to reduce transaction costs and expand access to the financial system using blockchain technology.”