On August 19, 2019, a delegation of US lawmakers, led by Representative Maxine Waters, visited Switzerland to discuss Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra. The group held a meeting with the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC), Adrian Lobsige. However, the result of this meeting is disappointed for the Libra supporters as Maxine Waters said:
“My concerns remain.”
After the meeting, she told to media:
“While I appreciate the time that the Swiss government officials took to meet with us, my concerns remain with allowing a large tech company to create a privately controlled, alternative global currency.”
The Swiss authorities helped her to understand the status, complexity, and the magnitude of Facebook’s plans. The reasons for visiting Switzerland is that David Marcus, the head of Facebook’s Libra project, on July 16, 2016, said that Libra’s would be headquartered in Switzerland and the Swiss Federal Data Protection Commission (FDPIC) would be overseeing privacy on Libra. Facebook also said that the currency would be issued and managed by the Geneva, Switzerland-based Libra Association.
But the officials from the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) claimed that they had not heard from Facebook before the hearings, and sent a letter to the company July 17th enquiring about the project and FDPIC is still waiting for the reply from Facebook.
There was also news about Facebook lobby to get Washington on its side. It was being said that Facebook is trying to get the services of two lobbying firms specializing in financial services to its squad of existing lobbyists to try and curry favor for Libra.
Libra is the hottest topic since June 2019 when the social media company shocked regulators and lawmakers with its announcement that it was hoping to launch a new digital coin called Libra in 2020.
The lawmakers of the USA and other countries are concerned about the massive userbase of 2.3 billion of Facebook and privacy violation in the past.
In July 2019, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing on Libra where David Marcus, the head of Libra project, was harshly questioned from both Democrats and Republicans. Data privacy was one of several major concerns brought up by several senators in the hearings with Marcus.
It is looking difficult for Libra to get the green signal from US lawmakers but China is also going to launch its Central Bank digital currency called digital renminbi. So the US will be looking to dominate in crypto space whether it will be with Libra or other digital assets.