Congress Pull No Punches with Libra
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, a man who makes $6 million every minute, just got grilled in Congress about his plans to “move fast and break” the global financial system with a digital currency of his own. He was also complimented on his haircut.
Since cryptocurrencies sprung up, the fear of missing out has taken over the business world. Facebook’s ‘Libra’ counts as the commercial coinage furthest down the road of legitimacy, and while it’s a keystone for the rest of a mistrusted crypto world, there are big downsides to that. Namely, being called before dozens of retirement-age congressman to explain what most twenty-year-olds don’t even understand. Eventually, the point gets across. Blockchain technology takes financial surveillance powers away from the government, which is like taking candy from a baby!
The case against Libra is that with Blockchain making transactions anonymous, the fight against money laundering could turn against authorities. A decentralized, anonymous payment system is a very convenient front for fraudsters, but Zuckerberg insisted yesterday that he had everything under control. Congress wasn’t convinced. Politicians on both sides reminded him of the fraudsters he’d let interfere with elections and steal users’ data, even calling for Facebook to be broken up. But to investors’ relief, he stood firm. He’s been here before, you see. Zuck knew what to say, when to smile, and, ultimately, how to walk out as king of Capitol Hill.
Antitrust doesn’t scare him. Facebook has a duopoly with Google re online ads, but competition is only a click away! Privacy blunders and Libra concerns don’t equate to an antitrust knockout, and anyway, social networks are not forever. Zuckerberg was too smart to take any chances yesterday, conceding Libra is “a risky project,” but investors have different worries to Congress. Namely, how Libra will make them any money!