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    Posted by Shane McQuillan 16 Jul 2019
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    Facebook's Libra Stops by Senate Committee - Key Takeaways

    Since the white paper Facebook's dedicated cryptocurrency, more commonly known as 'Libra' went live for members of the public to take anywhere from a focused read to a cursory glance over, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that, what would come next would involve the Senate.

    It's not as though Facebook has had an arms reach relationship with the Senate and its committees. Understandable, considering the fact that it was only last year that Mark Zuckerberg found himself face-to-face with one over concerns over public privacy and security in the aftermath of Cambridge Analytica.

    With this reputation with people's data recently etched into our minds, David Marcus, the head of Facebook's cryptocurrency subsidiary - Calibra - took to the Senate this week to provide his testimony to the Senate committee for Banking, Housing and Social Affairs.

    The First and Most Explicit Message - Mistrust

    "A Toddler whose gotten hold of a book of matches" is the way that Senator Sherrod Brown defines big tech companies having hold of users sensitive data. Brown would take to Twitter at 3pm on July 16th to reiterate the mistrust that should be afforded of big tech.

    "Facebook has burned down every house and called every arson a 'learning experience'."

    While Brown has his reasons to mistrust of Facebook and big tech companies, the underlying theme remains the same - the senate holds a mistrust of Facebook and Libra - and considering the fact that it runs as a for-profit, subjective thinking corporation, is that so surprising?

    "The last thing we need is to put more power into the hands of major corporations... This is a recipe for disaster."

    Second - Libra Seeks out Collaboration (On Paper)

    It would appear as though Facebook has taken the advice of the likes of the Winklevoss Twins.

    The two entrepreneurs behind Gemini – The Winklevoss Twins - had provided some explicit, and closed-door advice to Mark Zuckerberg. That a gradual, and legally 'on the level' approach was necessary for institutional crypto projects to get off the ground. In the testimony, Marcus provided this same message.

    "We will take the time to get this right. We expect the review of Libra to be the most meticulous seen. And we are more than happy to work together with regulatory agencies both here and across the world."

    In addition to this, Marcus maps out the regulatory infrastructure set out within the white paper, further explaining the formation of the independent Libra Association: a collaborative system made up of 27 founding companies, headquartered in Switzerland.

    The underlying goal of this Association is to provide an access point for those that remain under served by the current banking or financial systems, firstly, while also holding regulatory powers of oversight, with each of its members serving as a validator node.

    "When fully formed, we hope for Libra to consist of hundreds of these members, with Facebook only getting one vote in the process."

    For those otherwise uncertain of the position that these members take - they operate as validator nodes, similar in fashion to block creators on EOS. While this sounds like a democratic system, it remains to be seen whether:

    1 - Libra proves capable of actually regulating 'above and beyond' frameworks set out by the EU and USA

    2 - It can actually make good on its altruistic aims of supporting the unbanked and offering users a stable and rapid means of international remittances and transactions.

    2 - These founding members/validator nodes can operate in a democratic and fair way

    3 - These same nodes can avoid operating in a self-interested way, considering the kind of dividend yields each of them obtains by simply BEING a node.

    Seeking to Adapt or 'Total Bullshit"?

    While Marcus took the time, in a prepared statement to underline the desire on Libra's part to collaborate with centralized financial institutions, the opinion of the committee was one of mistrust at this early stage.

    While Facebook has had a cryptocurrency in the works for some time, it hasn't ameliorated the underlying issues of trust, which now blight Libra.

    Viewers, both in the building and on viral news feed are left thinking whether there is a legitimate learning curve that Facebook has passed in establishing Libra. Or if in the words of the Republican Senator John Kennedy, this is yet another mound of 'total bullshit' levied up by the multinational company.