Russia will not legalize Libra so far. The French Finance minister and the CEO of Binance don’t accept the new cryptoactive
At least three American lawmakers have requested Facebook Inc. to stop the development of its cryptocurrency, Libra, until some company executives testify and clarify to the US Congress if the data of the social network’s users will remain safe, due to concerns about the use of the digital currency with respect to the privacy of the data and its security.
“Facebook has the information of billions of people and has shown a reiterative disinterest in the protection and care in the use of this information. With the announcement of its plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unbridled expansion and extending its reach in the lives of its users”, said Maxine Waters, who heads the Committee of House Financial Services of the United States Congress.
The congresswoman also said that Facebook should stop the development of its product, which will be called Libra, until Congress and regulators analyze it. He also called on company executives to testify in the Congress.
In addition to US lawmakers, multiple regulators around the world claim to be concerned because Facebook is “careless” with the privacy of its users. This is the main complaint against Libra and its platform, since transactions with cryptocurrencies must remain protected from third parties.
Senator Sherrod Brown, Democratic leader of the Senate Banking Committee, gave strong statements about his point of view. “Facebook is already very big and powerful, in addition to using that power to exploit the information of its users, without protecting their privacy, we cannot allow Facebook to develop a new cryptocurrency, like a Swiss bank account without surveillance”, he said through a statement.
US Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat who also belongs to the Senate Banking Committee, said Facebook would be using its domain in social networks to dominate other markets such as mobile payments.
Clash of opinions in other countries
The State Duma chairman of the Financial Market Committee of Russia, Anatoly Aksakov, said that his country will not legalize Libra in that country because it could represent a threat to its economy.
Also, the French minister of Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, called for guarantees and a greater regulation of technology companies.
“This instrument for transactions will allow Facebook to collect millions and millions of data, which strengthens my conviction that there is a need to regulate the digital giant”, he said during a radio interview.
The Bitcoin developer Udi Wertheimer said: “Calibra is a digital wallet. Users will not manage keys, it will be used by Facebook, and will probably be the main way people use Libra, the token”.
The CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, also referred to the data that the company owns: “Facebook’s Libra coin do not need Know Your Customer (KYC). They have so much more data on the two billion people. Not just name, id, address, phone. They know your family, friends, real-time / historic location, what do you like, they know you, and now your wallet too”, he said.
However, the Governor of the Central Bank of England, Mark Carney, said he remains “open-minded” with respect to the use of this product, although he warned that this cryptocurrency may face strict regulation.
Facebook has already presented Libra’s white paper and says they have met with regulators from the United States and other regions to talk about the cryptocurrency project, although they did not give more details.
Financial representatives of the Swiss Government said they were contacted by promoters of the Libra project, without giving more details.
Markus Ferber, a German executive legislator in the European Parliament, said Facebook’s new currency should put “regulators on high alert”. He called on the European Commission to start a regulatory framework for virtual currencies. The debate about cryptocurrencies in general and also about Libra’s case remains.
By María Rodríguez