Congressman: Facebook’s ‘Zuck Bucks’ May Be More Dangerous Than 9/11
Members of Congress continued launching attacks on Facebook’s Libra, an ambitious cryptocurrency plan, during a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, with one congressman comparing the potential danger of the coin to the terrorist attacks that occurred on American soil on Sept. 11, 2001.
“The most innovative thing that happened this century is when Osama bin Laden came up with the innovative idea of flying two airplanes into towers. That’s the most consequential innovation, although this may do more to endanger America than even that,” said California Rep. Brad Sherman, a Democrat.
While Facebook’s head of Libra, David Marcus, sat in the witness chair, Sherman compared the planned crypto to Bitcoin, which he said was often associated with providing “privacy to drug dealers, human traffickers, terrorists, tax evaders and sanctions evaders.”
Sherman, one of many from both sides of the aisle who have been critical of Libra, went further, calling for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on what he called “Zuck bucks,” according to MarketWatch.
“This is the Zuck buck,” Sherman said. “Zuckerberg has billions but he doesn’t have the authority to print more. … This is an attempt to transfer enormous power from America to Facebook and its allies.”
Fellow Democrat and Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters opened the meeting expressing “serious concerns” over the tech giant’s plans.
“Facebook’s plans raise serious privacy, trading, national security and monetary policy concerns, not only for Facebook’s over two billion users, who will have immediate access to these products, but also for consumers, investors and the global economy,” she said.
Libra isn’t the only concern for Facebook at the moment, either. The social media giant was fined $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for data-privacy practices, and it will likely face an antitrust probe by the Justice Department.
Marcus, in defending Libra, said that Facebook would not move forward with the currency launch until it was thoroughly vetted and approved by regulators. He added that Facebook will not fully control Libra, as it is one of about 100 companies and nonprofits in an association designated to manage the coin.
Marcus also did not agree to a suspension of the plan or a pilot project.
“We will take the time to get this right,” Marcus said.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.