California, June 19 (GCBusiness) Social media giant Facebook has released the white paper for its long awaited cryptocurrency and blockchain-based financial infrastructure project on June 18, which is already raising questions among the US lawmakers.
Maxine Waters, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, on Tuesday called on Facebook to pause its development of a new digital coin called Libra, citing the company’s seemingly endless list of scandals, reported Cnet.
“With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users,” Waters said in a statement.
Libra will be run by the Libra Association, an independent nonprofit organization headquartered in Switzerland. Members of the Libra Association range from payments giants Visa and Mastercard to ride-hailing firms Lyft and Uber. And they’re expected to commit $10 million each to the project, as well as integrate the technology into their services, per the Financial Times.
The company is working with 27 partners to launch Libra, which is expected to be released along with a new digital wallet that works with Messenger and WhatsApp. Users will be able to use Libra to purchase products, send money across borders or make donations.
Waters said Facebook “has repeatedly shown a disregard for the protection and careful use of this data.” The social media company could face a record-setting fine of up to $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission, which has been investigating Facebook for allegedly failing to protect user privacy. Last year, revelations surfaced that UK political consultancy Cambridge Analytica harvested the data of up to 87 million users without their permission.