Will the Facebook Libra project see the world’s biggest social media platform also become the the globe’s go-to marketplace, where it will act as both shop window and cash register? Photo: Facebook

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is prepared to meet any concerns or objections that US House Financial Services Committee chairwoman Maxine Waters may have regarding the proposed Libra cryptocurrency, says David Marcus, head of Facebook unit Calibra.

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Zuckerberg is to attend a special hearing in front of Waters on October 26. Marcus said on the sidelines of the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington that the Facebook chief would tell Waters that “we agree with her that we will take time to get this right [Libra]. We are on the same page.”

Waters’ decision to hold a special hearing for Zuckerberg follows a White House news conference by US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on July 15 to air “serious concerns” over Libra.

Answering a question by Capitol Intelligence at a news conference this Wednesday, Waters said she specifically called Zuckerberg as “he is the only one” who can give definite answers regarding the Libra currency and other issues related to Facebook.

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Zuckerberg is facing steep opposition over the proposed Libra cryptocurrency from Mnuchin and Waters, as well as French and German monetary authorities, while winning some cautious support from Bank of England governor Mark Carney.

Financial observers believe that the proposed cryptocurrency is all but dead as Libra backers such as Visa, MasterCard and others dropped out of the Calibra consortium because of US Treasury Department opposition.

In fact, Mnuchin minced few words criticizing Libra, stating that the proposal raised serious concerns about both money-laundering and illicit financing of terrorist organizations.

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US and many European Union regulators were angered over what they considered the surprise announcement by Facebook that it would create a cryptocurrency based in Switzerland without having taken requisite steps to win necessary pre-approval of the US Federal Reserve, the US Securities Exchange Commission and the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Marcus and Carney participated in a high-level panel on Wednesday titled “Big Tech and the Future of Finance” during the IMF/World Bank annual meetings in Washington. Marcus’ intention was apparently to convince delegates sent to the meetings by the world’s finance chiefs and central-bank governors that the proposed Libra cryptocurrency poses no threat to the global financial system or their ability to supervise their markets.

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Hassan Aldahan, an Iraqi-American investment banker and owner of CIQ Corporation, which specializes in cross-border mergers and acquisitions and distributed hyper-ledger technology (smart contracts), said the Libra proposal was both premature and outdated.

Aldahan said that Libra would be merely a fiat currency in a digital wallet, something that countries such as Tunisia (Poste Tunisie) and others in the developing world have been using for a while.

However, Aldahan said that countries should use distributed hyper-ledger technology and blockchain for payment settlements as it is “more efficient, [is] less costly and can be fully monitored by national regulators.”

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