Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify following a breach under a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Facebook on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday, telling lawmakers that the Facebook-backed libra cryptocurrency "will expand America's economic leadership as well as our democratic values and oversight around the world." [1
Zuckerberg's testimony comes after a few weeks for the Libra Association, the group that controls the libra cryptocurrency. The Libra Association saw membership drop to 21 after departures from Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, eBay, Stripe, Booking and Mercado Pago.
When Facebook announced libra, the social media company said it planned to launch the digital currency in 2020. Since then, the company has said it will not launch Libra until it gets government approval. Zuckerberg reiterated this attitude in his prepared remarks.
"Although the Libra Association is independent and we do not control it, I want to be clear: Facebook will not be part of launching the Libra payment system anywhere in the world until US regulators approve," Zuckerberg said.
In his comments, Zuckerberg also emphasized that the future of libra cryptocurrency is now in the hands of the Libra Association, not Facebook.
"By design, we do not expect to lead the effort forward," Zuckerberg said. "The Libra Association has been established, has a governance structure in place and will run the project from now on."
Zuckerberg also denied that libra is an attempt to replace sovereign currency.
"Finally, it is the question of whether libra is meant to replace sovereign currency, and whether it is appropriate for private companies to be involved in these types of innovations," he said. "I want to be clear: this is not an attempt to create a superior currency. Like existing online payment systems, it is a way for people to transfer money."
However, Zuckerberg did not clearly explain why Facebook felt the need to propose a new cryptocurrency as part of its system when competitors such as PayPal Venmo, Apple Pay or Square Cash work perfectly with existing government-backed currencies.
SE: How to see which apps have access to your Facebook data – and cut it off