However, shortly after the project was announced in June, lawmakers around the world raised concerns about its impact on financial markets, cybercrime and consumer privacy, and there was growing opposition.
The encrypted currency project appears to face complex internal and external questions about whether Libra can withstand regulatory censorship. Members of Congress are now asking Facebook executives, CEO Mark Zuckerberg and chief operating officer Shirley Sandberg to testify about the project. Some lawmakers say they are still thinking about how to stop the development of the encrypted currency.
"Congress will somehow ensure that we know what Zuckerberg is doing and whether the program protects our consumers and our economy," Representative Sylvia Garcia, a Democrat from Texas, said in a telephone interview with reporters. "if not, we will certainly block the release of the project."
Members are still trying to figure out exactly what the Libra project is, how it will work, and fear it will threaten the status of the dollar. They also fear that the billions of users of Facebook will make Libra the most widely used cryptocurrency, possibly giving the social media giant more power.
Garcia, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, said: "We need to send Zuckerberg a clear message that he is not an independent'country'and cannot always act in his own way." The Commission asked Sandberg to testify before the Commission on October 29, and Zuckerberg to testify before January next year. Facebook declined to comment.
The opposition came not only from the United States. European Commission Financial Services Commissioner Valdis East Brovskis told lawmakers on Tuesday that he planned to enact new regulations to regulate Libra, in an attempt to curb the systemic risks that Libra could pose to the euro and the possibility that it could be used to launder money.
Libra is facing more than just external pressure.
On Friday, PayPal was the first member to announce its withdrawal from Libra. The company "decided to give up further participation" in the Libra Association (Libra Association) business. Given that David Marcus (David Marcus), who is in charge of the Facebook Libra project, was former president of PayPal, PayPal's exit is particularly striking.
According to several media reports, two financial institutions, Visa and Master, are also considering withdrawing from the Libra Association for fear of regulatory review affecting their businesses.
Visa and MasterCard declined to comment. But in an interview in August, Visa's chief executive, Al Kelly, stressed that the company had not formally committed itself to joining the association. He said Visa would sign only if Libra could "meet or exceed" regulators'expectations.
Lack of commitment from within the Libra Association may cause problems for project implementation. The association was founded to help Libra build trust by distributing the influence and profits of the encrypted currency among many companies, not just Facebook. If more partners quit, it could undermine public confidence in the association as an independent supervisor of Libra.
Questioning by members of Congress
Months have passed since David Marcus attended two congressional hearings in July, but lawmakers still say they are waiting for answers to basic questions about what the Libra is and how it will work.
Members said they wanted to hear Zuckerberg's testimony directly because it was the size of Facebook that gave Libra the opportunity to play such an important role. If only a quarter of Facebook's more than 2 billion users use Libra, the number of users in this currency will exceed the total population of the United States.
"A person who wants to create his own currency should be able to testify before the committee," Representative Brad Sherman, Democrat of California, said in an interview. He later added: "even if you don't want the federal government to be too strong, is there any reason for Zuckerberg to have that power?"