In what could shape up to be a major shift to its business, Facebook announced its own home-brewed cryptocurrency on Tuesday. Facebook's new digital currency, called “Libra,” won't launch until 2020, but that didn't stop regulators from coming down hard on the company's nascent plans.
“With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users,” House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters said. “Given the company's troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action.” The committee's top Republican, Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC), backed Waters in calling for hearings on Facebook's cryptocurrency. In Europe, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire expressed his own misgivings, encouraging finance leaders from G7 countries to prepare a report on Libra for next month.