US President Donald Trump blasted Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies late Thursday on Twitter, saying they “are not money” and that companies would have to seek a banking charter if they want to “become a bank.”
“I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air,” the President wrote on Twitter.
Trump also singled out Facebook, saying Libra, the digital coin being developed by the social media giant “will have little standing or dependability”.
“If Facebook and other companies want to become a bank, they must seek a new Banking Charter and become subject to all Banking Regulations, just like other Banks, both National and International,” he said in a separate tweet.
Trump issued the tweets shortly after he convened a group of far-right social media figures to the White House for a controversial “social media summit,” according to The Hill.
Trump’s tweets also follow Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell telling lawmakers on Wednesday that Facebook’s plan to launch Libra would not move forward unless it could address government concerns over Libra’s impact on privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, and financial stability.
Regulators, headed by Congresswoman and chair of the House Financial Services Committee Maxine Walters, are also planning an extensive review of the cryptocurrency project that will be held next week.
Prior to receiving scrutiny from the US government, Facebook said last month it expected to launch Libra next year. The social network has been working alongside 27 partners to launch Libra, which is expected to be released alongside a new digital wallet that works with Messenger and WhatsApp.
The Central Bank of Singapore is also seeking more details about Libra before the country decides whether there is a need for new legislation.
Meanwhile in South Korea, strict restrictions have been imposed on cryptocurrency trading activities since early 2018, with the government only allowing people with authenticated bank accounts to partake in these activities.
Country’s central bank remains in talks with Facebook and wants more details on how the US social media platform plans to implement its cryptocurrency before exploring potential legislation.
A committee hearing to discuss Libra is set for 17 July.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters asked Facebook to halt movement of its Libra project until hearings can be held to examine concerns, while French Finance Minister has called for tighter cryptocurrency regulation.
The social network’s rumored cryptocurrency has landed, but how it will be received remains to be seen.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency scheme will undoubtedly generate value and a following. But if the hairs on the back of your neck start to raise up, you’re not alone.
Facebook data privacy scandal: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
Read about the saga of Facebook’s failures in ensuring privacy for user data, including how it relates to Cambridge Analytica, the GDPR, the Brexit campaign, and the 2016 US presidential election.
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