Zuckerberg to testify in US Congress on Facebook digital currency

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 10 2019 07:55 AM

Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg walks past members of the news media as he enters the office of US Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) while meeting with lawmakers to discuss future internet regulation on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, September 19, 2019. Joshua Roberts, Reuters

WASHINGTON — Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will testify at the US House of Representatives this month on the social network's plan for a global digital currency, officials announced Wednesday.

The House Financial Services Committee said in a statement that Zuckerberg would be the sole witness at the October 23 hearing on "An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors."

The move comes with Facebook's planned digital coin Libra facing heavy criticism from regulators and lawmakers in the United States and Europe.

Earlier this year, David Marcus, Facebook's executive heading the digital coin effort, defended the plan for more than two hours at a Senate Banking Committee meeting and said the cryptocurrency would not be launched without regulatory approval.

Marcus and other Facebook executives have claimed the new digital coin could help lower costs for global money transfers and help those without access to the banking system.

French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire has warned that under current circumstances, Libra posed a threat to the "monetary sovereignty" of governments and could not be authorized in Europe.

Last week, digital payments firm PayPal said it was quitting the alliance of companies and organizations promoting Libra, raising questions over Facebook's ability to launch the coin early next year as planned.

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