Libra Called in for Questioning by Congress

Just one day after the initial annoucement of Facebook's new blockchain payment service, Representative Maxine Waters (pictured) call for a pause so hearings can be held

Libra Called in for Questioning by Congress

No sooner has Facebook launched its new stablecoin, Libra, that the United States federal government is trying to reign it in. Representative Maxine Waters has requested Facebook hold off further development of their project until Congress can investigate it.

The announcement of Libra, backed by a consortium of some of the biggest names in payments and internet innovation, was one of the most hotly anticipated tech stories of the year. Rumours began over the weekend before the official launch, made on Tuesday 18th June. 

Representative Waters is a Democrat from the state of California and the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, charged with oversight of the financial markets. She said, "given the company's troubles 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."

Other members of Congress have weighed in, including ranking Republican on Waters' committee, Rep. Patrick McHenry. "There are many open questions as to the scope and the scale of the project and how it will conform to our global financial framework," he wrote. 

Libra will be operated by a non-profit organisation, backed by a vast range of companies including Visa, Lyft, PayPal, and Booking.com. It is being described as a stablecoin since it will be backed by a basket of real world assets that are valued in fiat currencies, which is different from a 'true' cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum that is valued purely by market demand.