A probe into Facebook’s digital currency plans is being considered by MPs, it has been reported.
Concerns have been raised over the social network’s intentions to start a cryptocurrency called Libra, which will be run by a number of firms including Mastercard, Visa and PayPal.
Facebook will incorporate the currency into its digital wallet called Calibra, while other companies will be able to use Libra in their own apps.
Last week, US senators expressed their reservations about the project, as Libra chief David Marcus gave evidence to the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
Marcus was told Facebook “doesn’t deserve our trust” and “should be treated like the profit-seeking corporation that it is”.
On British shores, similar concerns have emerged, with Damian Collins, chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, expressing fears that it could be open to fraud.
“To me, (Libra) suggests that Facebook’s almost trying to turn itself into its own country,” he told Financial News.
“It’s a global organisation that doesn’t have physical boundaries but basically has a global community who are solely under the oversight of Mark Zuckerberg.
“If we’re going to have this payment system created by Facebook that exists within a Facebook walled garden, which no-one really has access to or can question, then our concern has got to be that this system is going to be open to massive fraud.”
Facebook has defended the cryptocurrency, saying it will not have special rights or privileges, and is willing to hold back from launching the service until it has satisfied the concerns of regulators around the world.
Marcus said the social network also understands “loud and clear” that people do not want financial details connected to their social media data.
However, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has cautiously welcomed the cryptocurrency, saying the Bank “approaches Libra with an open mind but not an open door”.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?