Washington skeptical about Facebook

Washington skeptical about Facebook’s attempt at building a crypto empire

Facebook leaders spent years in the burrows of their workshops crafting a new cryptocurrency and digital wallet. The project is finally done.

The next step is to convince top policymakers in Washington to officially launch their new-age digital currency.

Unfortunately, Washington is skeptical about Facebook’s latest push to revive Libra and Calibra — now rebranded as Diem and Nova.

Top analysts and lawyers want Facebook to quell privacy concerns and other underlying issues that ignited scrutiny of their first attempt at launching the digital currency.

This second attempt at launching a new cryptocurrency comes after federal regulators and advocates warned about the “growing threats” of crypto regarding triggering economic instability. And affecting workers’ paychecks.

“It’s deeply troubling [for Facebook to want to launch the currency at this time],” says Alyssa James, chair of the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

She pointed out that the new digital currency is meant to protect Facebook executive’s vested interests. “It’s only good for them and that’s all that matters,” she adds.

A boon for the developing world

Facebook has vehemently opposed those views. And has touted the digital currency as:

  • The remedy for underbanked communities
  • A cheap solution for cross-border transactions
  • A cost-effective global payment service

Facebook hails the Novi digital wallet project as a boon for the developing world.

David Marcus, head of Facebook Financial, says the Novi project is “now ready to come to market”. He feels it is “unreasonable to delay” delivering the cryptocurrencies cheaper and more accessible benefits.

Intense concerns amid the launch

This digital wallet project has been delayed since its official unveiling in 2019. And odds are, it might be delayed yet again. Why? Because of intense concerns over the privacy and security of Facebook users’ financial data.

Besides Facebook’s Novi project, the US lawmakers and financial regulators say crypto:

  • threatens global economies
  • triggers fraud and illicit money-laundering activities

There are also competition concerns. Facebook’s digital currency is likely to gain control over other global financial markets.

So, to suppress those fears, David Marcus is now heading to Washington to directly convince policymakers about Novi’s digital wallet.

He expects to have a sit-down with lawmakers, financial regulators, and other key stakeholders. And table Facebook’s plans for its digital project.

His primary goal is to push these officials to trust the social media giant to run a transparent process. “We have a lot to prove to earn people’s trust,” he says.