WATCH: House Democrat Tells Facebook Their Cryptocurrency Could Be Worse Than 9/11
Rep. Brad Sherman said during a House hearing Wednesday that Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra could be more dangerous than Osama Bin Laden.
Lawmakers grilled David Marcus, the head of Facebook subsidiary Calibra, about the potential threat of the new cryptocurrency.
“We’re told by some that innovation is always good,” Sherman said. “The most innovative thing that happened this century is when Osama bin Laden got the innovative idea of flying two airplanes into towers.”
He had multiple concerns about Libra, which he referred to as “Zuck Buck,” including that it could be a “godsend for drug dealers and tax evaders” or used for “other nefarious purposes.”
Sherman even accused Facebook of having ulterior motives. “They wanna solve two other problems: problem number one Zuckerberg can’t print money yet. And problem number two Zuckerberg is under attack because he invades the privacy of ordinary Americans and sells it to the highest bidder.”
Marcus had assured lawmakers that his team will have experts to ensure Calibra complies with anti money-laundering standards and “know your customer” standards, which requires businesses to verify the identity of the people it works with.
Sherman was not convinced. He worried that the cryptocurrency could be used to finance terrorism and hide from U.S. law.
“Someone with an understanding of the politics of this country needs to explain to Zuckerberg that if cryptocurrency is used to finance the next terrorist attacks against Americans, a hundred lawyers … are not going to protect his rear end from the wrath of the American people,” Sherman said.
“This is an attempt to transfer enormous power from America to Facebook and a number of its allies,” he added. Sherman called on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify for himself, saying this is the biggest thing his committee may deal with this decade.
Other lawmakers have pushed back on the new currency as well. Many Democrats have called for the company to cancel its plans entirely.
“I don’t think you should launch Libra at all!” said Rep. Carolyn Maloney.
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