New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez addressed the control of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency in today’s United States House Committee on Financial Services hearing.
As per a recording of the event, provided by C-Span on July 17, Ocasio-Cortez addressed Calibra wallet CEO David Marcus, asking, “[Facebook] wants to establish a currency and act through its wallet as — at minimum — a payment processor. Why should these activities be consolidated under one corporation?”
Regarding the membership of the Libra Association, Ocasio-Cortez asked, “Were they [the members] democratically elected?” After Marcus answered that it was not, but was governed by membership standards, Ocasio-Cortez summed up Libra as “a currency controlled by an undemocratically-selected coalition of largely massive corporations.”
From the issue of corporate control, the representative pivoted to an issue of monetary policy saying:
“You stated yesterday in front of the Senate Committee that you would be open to accepting 100% of your pay in Libra. In the history of this country, there is a term for being paid in a corporate-controlled currency … It’s called ‘scrip.’ The idea that your pay could be controlled by a corporation instead of a sovereign government. Do you think that there is any risk here? We’ve seen from scrip, to the issues with how Facebook handled our elections, we’re seeing a destabilizing in our public goods.”
Company scrip has been illegal as a form of payment in the U.S. for almost a century, as they were discluded from counting as “proper mediums of payments” with the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
Ocasio-Cortez also questioned Marcus’ view on whether Libra, as well as currency in general, should be a public good. Marcus said that “sovereign currency should remain sovereign,” and stated it was not his place to determine whether Libra should be a public good.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon claimed that Libra will not be a threat to the financial giant in the foreseeable future.