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Facebook won't make Libra available until regulators are happy

It could be waiting a while to offer its cryptocurrency.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 15, 2019
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Facebook is determined to reassure officials that its Libra cryptocurrency is above-board. As part of prepared testimony for a July 16th Senate hearing, Calibra head David Marcus has stressed that the social network won't offer the virtual money until it has "fully addressed" regulators' concerns and received approval. He also reiterated privacy promises. The Libra Association won't keep personal data beyond basic transaction info, Marcus said, and Facebook won't share Calibra wallet info with the rest of the company.

He added that Facebook is treating Libra as a "payment tool, not an investment," and that it was meant to ease money transfers and interactions. The Association can't profit from data on the blockchain for ads and other purposes, according to Marcus. He expected Switzerland (a cryptocurrency-friendly country) to be the privacy regulator as the Libra Association is based in Geneva.

There's no guarantee that Marcus' testimony will satisfy the Senate. Politicians were already calling on Facebook to halt the launch entirely until their concerns were addressed, and leaders (including Donald Trump) aren't fans of cryptocurrency in the first place. Facebook may have to accept a long wait before it's cleared to bring Libra to market, assuming it isn't rejected before then.

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