Menendez Warns of Potential Dangers of Facebook’s Proposed Cryptocurrency

‘Libra Could be the Wild West of Cryptocurrency’

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee and the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today questioned David Marcus, Head of Calibra, a Facebook, Inc. subsidiary in charge of Facebook’s involvement in planned cryptocurrency Libra. Sen. Menendez questioned Marcus regarding Facebook’s poor track record on data privacy and other issues including how the Libra Association will comply with U.S. sanctions and stop potential illicit transactions.

Sen. Menendez, author of many U.S. sanctions against rogue regimes, expressed his concerns about the potential use of the cryptocurrency by criminals to evade U.S. sanctions or money-laundering laws as has happened with the digital currency Bitcoin. The Senator concluded his questioning by warning Marcus that while these questions remain unsolved, “Libra could be the Wild West of cryptocurrency” where money launderers, criminals and countries seeking to avoid U.S. sanctions could operate.

On June 18, Facebook announced the creation of Libra, a global currency expected to launch in 2020. According to Facebook, the Libra currency will be backed by a reserve of real assets; and governed by an independent Libra Association of 28 founding member organizations. Facebook also created a new subsidiary, Calibra that will offer a digital wallet for Libra cryptocurrency and act as Facebook’s representative in the association.

###