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Zuckerberg reassures skeptical lawmakers about Libra

Video Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on October 23, 2019 - Duration: 01:50s

Zuckerberg reassures skeptical lawmakers about Libra

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sought to reassure skeptical U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday that the company's planned digital currency Libra would be a force for good that could reduce costs for electronic payments and help more people participate in the global financial system.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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Zuckerberg reassures skeptical lawmakers about Libra

Appearing in a suit and tie before the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Zuckerberg said Facebook would not back any move by Libra, which comprises a consortium of 21 members including venture capital firms and nonprofits, to launch the cryptocurrency until it had satisfied all U.S. regulatory concerns.

Representative Maxine Waters, the panel's fiery Democratic chair, had previously called for the Libra project to halt its planned 2020 launch, and has drafted legislation that would bar tech companies from entering financial services.

Libra has faltered in recent weeks amid sustained criticism from lawmakers and regulators over fears it may aid money laundering and upend the global financial system.

Several financial partners including Mastercard,

Class="kln">Visa, PayPal and eBay have abandoned the project.

The Facebook CEO last appeared before Congress in April 2018 when he fielded 10 hours of questions over two days from House and Senate panels on political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica's misuse of Facebook customer data to interfere in the U.S. presidential election.

That scandal damaged Facebook's image in Washington and has compounded worries among lawmakers that the social media giant cannot be trusted to launch a global digital currency to its 2.4 billion users.

Zuckerberg acknowledged Facebook's mistakes but said they should not stand in the way of Libra, based in Switzerland, which would help reduce the cost of global payments.

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