Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg delivers the F8 2018 Keynote speech. Anthony Quintano/Wikimedia Commons

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will attend a congressional hearing to try and defend Facebook’s Libra project, the House Financial Services Committee announced on 9 October.

According to the announcement, Zuckerberg will be the only witness during the 23 October hearing, titled “An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors”.

While the press release did not go much into details, it did mention that Congresswoman Maxine Waters has drafted a bill, called “Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act”, that is designed to ban big corporations from getting licensed as financial institutions in the U.S..


The press release reads:

“The draft legislation prohibits large platform utilities, like Facebook, from becoming chartered, licensed or registered as a U.S. financial institution (e.g. like taxpayer-backed banks, investment funds, and stock exchanges) or otherwise becoming affiliated with such financial institutions.”

The new bill, if passed, will also prohibit “large platform utilities” from establishing, maintaining and operating digital assets that can be used as a medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value and other similar functions.

The press release also noted that in July, members of Congress sent an open letter to Zuckerberg, requesting Facebook pause the development of Libra, and its wallet Calibra.

This will be the third hearing to discuss the proposed stablecoin held by U.S. Congress.

Back in July David Marcus, Facebook’s blockchain lead, testified in front both the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee, about the potential benefits the project could have.

Even though we do not know how the 23 October hearing will go, the scrutiny around the Libra project has been a concern to some of its backers.

Visa and Mastercard are reportedly considering backing out of the Facebook-led digital venture, while PayPal has already officially announced it will be withdrawing from the Libra Association.