U.S. Regulators Still Worried About Libra After Switzerland Visit

Even after their visit to Switzerland to meet the country’s financial regulators, U.S. lawmakers continue to be concerned about Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency project.

Rep. Maxine Waters, one of the most outspoken critics of the social media giant’s initiative, said in a statement, published on 25 August, that her meeting with multiple regulatory agencies and lawmakers did not alleviate her concerns with “allowing a large tech company to create a privately controlled, alternative global currency”.

According to her statement, the six person U.S. delegation met with officials that Facebook claims would regulate its Swiss-headquartered Libra Association. Through their meetings with the State Secretariat for International Financial Matters (SIF), the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC), the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), the delegation was able to understand “the status, complexity, and magnitude of Facebook’s plans”. With that said, Waters added:


“I look forward to continuing our Congressional delegation, examining these issues, money laundering, and other matters within the Committee’s jurisdiction.”

In mid June, Facebook announced its plans for its Libra project, and established a governance consortium called the Libra Association in Switzerland. In July, during two congressional hearings, David Marcus said that Switzerland was a good regulatory fit for the goals of the project. During one of those hearings, Waters asked if Facebook would sign a moratorium, to which Marcus did not agree, but instead stated that they would delay the launch of the project until all concerns of the regulators have been addressed.

On 23 August Waters released a statement that provided an overview of the House Financial Services Committee planned schedule for fall 2019. In the list of tasks was a pledge that the Committee will continue to provide strong oversight by conducting an ongoing review of Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra, and digital wallet Callibra.