Facebook is currently trying to assure United States regulators that they can fight foreign attempts to interfere with the 2020 Presidential election. Meanwhile, their massively promoted Libra coin would probably make such interference easier.
Facebook stated that they will accept the upcoming cryptocurrency anywhere where they receive payments, and this includes even political advertisements. A spokesperson from the social media giant mentioned on their priorities:
“It’s still early, and we are currently focused on building Calibra (The Facebook division that will oversee Libra) and working with the Libra Association and its members to launch Libra next year. We don’t have any further specifics to share at this time.”
On the other hand, some experts like Jennifer Grygiel from Syracuse University, are concerned:
“If they design the system poorly then it will be easier for all of this problematic content to be funded,”
During the last presidential elections in 2016, Facebook took an active role against Russian interference and deleted many fake accounts. In addition, they established new requirements for political advertisements that aim to prove the real identities of advertisers. Furthermore, all running ads had to be paid in the specific country’s currency. According to a 2017 analysis by the New York Times, the 2016 disinformation campaign reached a colossal number of 126 million Americans.
The announcement of the emerging Facebook cryptocurrency encouraged the public’s interest in Bitcoin, which recently reached an 18-month high. Due to the fact that Facebook is trying to establish Libra as the prime Internet currency, it will face “unprecedented” regulatory inspections, Reuters reported.
Cryptocurrency is seriously entering the political world as 8 United States House contenders raised $550,000 in Bitcoin donations. According to the Center for Public Integrity, this happened in 20 states between 2014 and 2018.
Of course, not all states view cryptocurrency the same way. For example, Colorado, the District of Columbia, and Kansas allow it, while California does not permit this practice. Democratic Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang promised to mend all those puzzling regulations that are holding back digital money adoption for now. Rep. Eric Swalwell also shared his views on blockchain technology:
“So much of our public life now exists online, and there’s no reason to believe we can’t extend this further into our democracy and our economy – from exercising our right to vote, to how we look at cryptocurrency.”