U.S. President Donald Trump has become the latest critic of Facebook’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency, taking to Twitter Thursday night to attack it as well as bitcoin.
In a series of tweets, the President said that he was not a fan of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, saying they’re “not money” and that their “value is highly volatile and based on thin air.” Using an old trope, the President then claimed that “unregulated crypto assets can facilitate unlawful behavior, including drug trade and other illegal activity.”
That was only warmup, however, to the main target: Libra. “Similarly, Facebook Libra’s ‘virtual currency’ will have little standing or dependability,” the President tweeted. “If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new banking charter and become subject to all banking regulations, just like other Banks, both national and international.”
Indicating a preference for traditional currency, the President added “we have only one real currency in the USA, and it is stronger than ever, both dependable and reliable. It is by far the most dominant currency anywhere in the World, and it will always stay that way. It is called the United States Dollar!”
It was notable as the first time the president has spoken out on the subject of Libra, but he’s far from alone in holding serious concerns about Facebook’s cryptocurrency in Washington D.C.
The backlash to Libra started within 24 hours of Facebook’s announcement on June 18. In a rare show of bipartisanship in the Capitol, Libra was attacked by both sides politics. Democratic House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters called for Facebook to halt its plans for Libra until Congress and regulators have had a chance to investigate it.
Since that time, further concerns have been raised. On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified to the House Financial Services Committee that “Libra raises many serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability,” adding that those concerns “are going to need to be thoroughly and publicly assessed and evaluated before [Facebook] proceeds.”
The ongoing attention given to Libra is likely to intensify. CoinDesk reported that David Marcus, the head of Calibra, the Facebook-owned division that will provide Libra services, is scheduled to testify before both the U.S. Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee next week.
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