- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sen. Sherrod Brown criticized the idea of letting Facebook launch it’s own cryptocurrency during a Senate Banking Committee Tuesday, saying it would be “crazy” and “dangerous” to trust the social media giant to be in charge of an alternative financial system effectively competing with the U.S. government’s central bank.  

“Facebook has demonstrated through scandal after scandal that it doesn’t deserve our trust,” the Ohio Democrat said about their cryptocurrency, dubbed Libra.

“Their motto has been move fast and break things. They certainly have,” Brown said. “They moved fast and broke journalism. They moved fast and helped incite a genocide,” Mr. Brown said, referring to the 2018 genocide of Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority group which was organized on Facebook by Myanmar’s military.

“It takes a breathtaking amount of arrogance to look at that track record and think, ‘You know, really what we really ought to do next? Let’s run our own bank and our own for-profit version of the Federal Reserve. Let’s do it for the whole world,’” the ranking Democrat said.

Mr. Brown’s criticisms came on day one of two days of hearings on the social media giants plans to enter the cryptocurrency market, which has worried a bipartisan group of lawmakers and regulators.

They worry about the abundance of Facebook’s privacy violations and vast size could hinder the financial market.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the site’s plan raises “serious concerns” and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin was afraid it could be used for money laundering and illicit finances.

House Financial Services Committee Chair Rep. Maxine Waters has called for Facebook to suspend the cryptocurrency until their plans satisfy lawmakers and has passed around a bill preventing the plans altogether.

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