Facebook's Crytpo-Currency Hits Hurdle

Facebook's Crytpo-Currency Hits Hurdle
Governments around the world may want to regulate Facebook's Libra crypto-currency before it is launched.

(CCM) — The future of Facebook's Libra crypto-currency has been plunged into doubt just hours after the project was first announced, the BBC is reporting.

Libra is scheduled to be launched next year, allowing users to make payments with it through the Facebook app and the WhatsApp messaging service. But now Maxine Waters, the House Financial Services Committee's chairwoman, has called for the launch to be delayed.

"Given the company's troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a crypto-currency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action," she said.

She also called on Facebook's executives to testify before her committee, according to the report.

Another senior politician, Senator Sherrod Brown, who sits on the Senate Banking Committee, agreed that Facebook's plans needed to be put in check. "We cannot allow Facebook to run a risky new crypto-currency out of a Swiss bank account without oversight," he said in a statement.

Regulators in the U.S. and elsewhere will want to be sure that new crypto-currencies like Libra cannot easily be exploited by money-launderers or those seeking to evade paying tax. Crytpo-currencies like Bitcoin already exist, but given the fact that Facebook already has over two billion users around the world it is possible that Libra could become a very significant currency very quickly.

Image: © Facebook.