(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. is taking a beating for a second straight day over its controversial cryptocurrency plans with House Financial Chairwoman Maxine Waters arguing the proposal posses vast privacy and national security risks.
Speaking at a Wednesday hearing, Waters compared Facebook to Wells Fargo & Co. and Equifax Inc., two scandal ridden companies that have harmed consumers. She said the hearing would focus, in part, on proposed legislation that would prohibit tech titans from getting into virtual tokens.
If the plan comes to fruition, Facebook and its partners will “wield immense power that could disrupt” governments and central banks, Waters, a California Democrat, said in her prepared remarks.
Read More: Big Tech Is Taking a Bipartisan Beating All Over Washington
Waters has been one of Facebook’s most vocal critics since the company unveiled its token proposal last month. She’s repeatedly urged Facebook to halt its efforts to launch the global virtual coin, known as Libra, until policy makers can fully assess the effort.
She’s far from alone in scrutinizing the company. President Donald Trump has bashed Facebook over Libra and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said July 15 that he’s very concerned that Libra could threaten national security, considering that other cryptocurrencies have been embraced by terrorists and nations under U.S. sanctions.
A parade of senators criticized Facebook at a Tuesday Senate Banking Committee hearing, saying the company can’t be trusted to handle consumers’ financial transactions after past scandals involving data privacy and allowing Russian bots to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Facebook has been stressing in public and private meetings on Capitol Hill that it’s just one of dozens of companies involved in the effort.
Facebook’s David Marcus, appearing at Wednesday’s hearing, pledged to address policy makers’ concerns over the project and said the coin isn’t meant to compete with countries’ national currencies or interfere with central banks’ monetary policy decisions. Marcus, the top Facebook executive working on Libra, said the coin won’t launch until regulators are comfortable with the company’s proposal.
To contact the reporter on this story: Ben Bain in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at email@example.com, Jillian Ward
©2019 Bloomberg L.P.