Libra has faced some harsh criticisms from lawmakers in the United States, but British MPs are also considering launching an investigation of their own. Many MPs are still skeptical of Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency.
Last week, Libra chief David Marcus was grilled in front of US senators who were largely hostile to Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans. Yet, on British soil, a similar sentiment is emerging among major lawmakers and government officials.
A UK Investigation into the Libra Is Possible
Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport Committee, has said that the Libra could be susceptible to fraud. He told Financial News that “to me, Libra suggests that Facebook’s almost trying to turn itself into its own country.” Collins is a Member of Parliament in the lower house and was responsible for the 18-month investigation into Facebook following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. It seems that Collins is looking to investigate Facebook again, this time over its cryptocurrency.
Collins elaborated further, calling the payment system proposed by Facebook as a kind of “walled garden” where “no-one really has access to or can question… this system is going to be open to massive fraud.” Although he did not explicitly say there will be another investigation, it certainly seems on the table as a possibility.
Collins has the backing of other MPs who have expressed similar sentiments over the past year.
Facebook Has “Violated Laws”
Back in February, Collins joined multiple lawmakers in condemning Facebook. The social media giant, at the time, was accused of violating both data privacy and anti-competition laws.
Many on the other side of the Atlantic seem to agree. Last week, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters that he had ‘very serious concerns’ about the Libra cryptocurrency. As of now, the situation seems tense with regulators demanding that Facebook be more transparent about its long-term plans with the Libra. It is unclear whether the Libra will be able to launch in 2020 at all.
However, things could get worse for Facebook if Collins decides to open up another investigation as he did during the Cambridge Analytics scandal.
Do you believe Facebook’s Libra will be subject to a formal investigation in the UK? Let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.