In an attempt to change the rhetoric around his company‘s controversial ‘cryptocurrency’ Libra, Facebook‘s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg was attending a hearing before US Congress yesterday, where he announced he would delay Libra until regulation issues are sorted.
During the lengthy session, Zuckerberg sought to defend the digital currency, which has faced mounting criticism from lawmakers and regulators, and suffered several blows after some of its high profile partners withdrew their support from the project.
Although Facebook originally said it was looking to launch Libra in 2020, Zuckerberg conceded during the somewhat tense hearing that it was still a long way away from a specific launch date and that he would delay Libra launch if needed.
The entrepreneur was also probed on several issues, including whether Facebook could be trusted to handle customers’ financial data, why it sought to create a new digital currency instead of simply using the dollar, and how it was collaborating with regulators and lawmakers to ensure Libra operated within a legal framework.
“Facebook will not be a part of launching the Libra payments system anywhere in the world unless all US regulators approve it,” Zuckerberg said, adding “And we support Libra delaying its launch until it has fully addressed US regulatory concerns.”
“If I feel like Facebook can’t be part of it keeping with the principles I laid out, then Facebook won’t be a part of it,” Zuckerberg noted.
Throughout the session, Zuckerberg struggled to answer questions about Facebook‘s policy for fact-checking political ads, and its efforts relating to inclusion and diversity.