When Facebook revealed its plans for a cryptocurrency and digital wallet last month, it divided opinions among many, with the thought of having Zuckerberg and co. in the finance market potentially worrisome.
Sharing that sentiment are some democrats in the United States Congress, with a new Bill being proposed that would put a stop to Facebook’s Libra and Calibra offerings. The Bill is not aimed at Facebook squarely, but places an emphasis on halting large online platforms from moving into the banking space.
If there were any misconceptions about the Bill’s focus, the name clears all that up, with it called the Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act.
The Bill is yet to appear before Congress, so its finer details are yet to be finalised, but The Verge obtained a draft, with it noting that, “A large platform utility may not be, and may not be affiliated with any person that is, a financial institution.”
By the Bill’s outline, a large platform utility is any company with a global revenue of $25 billion or more, which therefore places the likes of Facebook and the other big tech firms like Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Apple in the sights of the Bill.
As the publication points out, for platforms like PayPal or Square, the implications if such a Bill were passed are also unclear.
For now we’ll have to wait and see how Facebook fights the proposed Bill, with representatives from the firm heading to Congress’ House Banking Committee later this week to discuss the Bill.
With those in Congress already stating that a platform like Libra could be used for criminal intent instead of helping unbanked consumers in developing countries, as Facebook has noted, the Bill could certainly gather enough momentum.
As such, it should be interesting to see if Libra and Calibra get axed before either get the chance to actually hit the market.