Facebook vice president David Marcus, who coordinated the launch of the pound, the crypto-social network, testified on Tuesday to the US Senate. He will also be heard on the Financial Services Committee of the House of Representatives on Wednesday (17).
Marcus answered questions from senators skeptical and concerned about the intentions of the pound, which aims to revolutionize payment and money transfer systems. It will only be released in 2020.
Lawmakers have also expressed concern over the recent past of Facebook, permeated by privacy scandals and data leaks.
The pound is a Facebook digital currency project presented in Junethat aims to offer solutions such as payments and financial transfers by digital means. One example would be to send money to someone out of the country paying a few fees and doing this for a message from WhatsApp , which also belongs to the company of Mark Zuckerberg , with Instagram .
Marcus, once an executive at PayPal’s digital payment company, was chosen by Zuckerberg to lead the pound’s efforts.
The idea of the currency was met with some controversy among economists and global public bodies, such as the G7, which set up a working group to find out the pound .
Fed chairman Jerome Powell also said the pound raises “serious concerns” and even President Donald Trump criticized the bill on a social network.
Already in the opening of the hearing, the executive was received with dissatisfaction of the parliamentarians. Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown said the social network was “dangerous” and warned that it was necessary to look at Facebook’s history.
“We would be crazy if we give them a chance to experiment with people’s bank accounts, using tools they do not understand, like monetary policy,” Brown said.
During the hearing, the senators returned to discuss topics that haunted Facebook in the last year, such as the spread of rumors, Russian interference in the 2016 election, and data leaks , such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
Senator Martha McSally said she does not trust Facebook and criticized the company that “instead of tidying up” is trying to start a new business model.
In defense of the company, Marcus acknowledged the mistakes of Facebook’s past and said that the social network will not go ahead with the project until all regulatory concerns are clarified.
“Why should Facebook, given the last few years, do this [to launch a digital currency]?” Said Senator Chris Van Hollen. Marcus responded by stating that the company “should not sit and wait while it has the resources and technical talent.”