Newly leaked audio from Q&A sessions between Facebook’s CEO and employees revealed Facebook’s early strategy for Libra launch.
One month after releasing Libra’s white paper
On Oct. 1, tech news agency The Verge published audio and text from recent internal meetings at Facebook where CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered employees’ questions about the future of the social media giant. According to the report, the leaked transcripts cover two Facebook’s internal meetings in July 2019.
Along with major topics such as Facebook’s potential breakup by regulators, Zuckerberg devoted a significant part of the sessions to the company’s much-discussed cryptocurrency project Libra, which was officially unveiled in June 2019.
Zuckerberg underlined the consultative approach around Libra, elaborating that both Facebook and the Libra Association want to do their best to solve a number of issues before the actual launch of the project.
Speaking at one of the July’s meetings, Zuckerberg said:
“We want to make sure. We get that there are real issues. Finance is a very heavily regulated space. There’s a lot of important issues that need to be dealt with in preventing money laundering, preventing financing of terrorists and people who the different governments say you can’t do business with. There are a lot of requirements on knowing who your customers are.”
Private engagement is more substantive
During the session, Zuckerberg further outlined Facebook’s early strategy for courting regulators, stating that diverse proceedings around the project are going to be a long road because “this is what big engagement looks like.”
Facebook CEO also noted that private engagement with regulators will be more substantive and less dramatic than public procedures such as mid-July hearings between Banking Committee of the United States Senate and David Marcus, head of Facebook’s crypto wallet Calibra.
On Sept. 26, Zuckerberg reportedly acknowledged the difficulty the company faces against regulatory scrutiny and public perception around Libra. After meeting with major skepticism from European regulators, the Federal Advisory Council of the U.S. Federal Reserve argued yesterday that Facebook is potentially creating a digital monetary ecosystem outside of sanctioned financial markets, or a “shadow banking.”
Senator Warren slams Libra again
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren, Senator and presidential candidate and a known crypto critic, recently reiterated her negative stance towards Facebook’s Libra, urging global regulators to stop giant companies like Facebook from initiatives like this. In an Oct. 1 tweet in response to the leaked audio from Zuckerberg, Warren wrote:
“What would really “suck” is if we don’t fix a corrupt system that lets giant companies like Facebook engage in illegal anticompetitive practices, stomp on consumer privacy rights, and repeatedly fumble their responsibility to protect our democracy.”
Previously, Warren outlined a lack of evidence that Facebook does not plan to link the platform’s user data to their money transactions and keep those records.