25.06.2021

Facebook Hires on New Lobbyists for Libra Stablecoin Project

As Bloomberg reported on Sept. 5, lobbying disclosures filed earlier this week revealed that William Hollier, the president of legislative and regulatory counseling firm Hollier Associates LLC, began lobbying for Facebook on blockchain policy, among other matters, in late August.

Social media giant Facebook has hired two more lobbyists to aid the release of its forthcoming Libra stablecoin.

Previously, Hollier worked for U.S. Republican Sen. Mike Crapo, who said at a hearing on cryptocurrencies and blockchain, “Facebook’s Libra project has generated renewed interest in digital currencies and blockchain … with the appropriate balance of regulation, digital currencies, and their innovative underlying technology, could provide meaningful benefits.”

The other lobbyist, Michael Williams of the Williams Group began lobbying for Facebook in July. Previously, Williams served as a managing director for investment banking company Credit Suisse Securities.

More support for the Libra project

In late August, Facebook hired Washington-based lobbying firm FS Vector – a consultancy firm that specializes in regulatory compliance, public policy and business strategy for the fintech, cryptocurrency, blockchain and financial services sectors. The firm will purportedly help Facebook grapple with the negative response to Libra.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss – Bitcoin bulls and founders of the Gemini crypto exchange – also said that they are open to partnering with Mark Zuckerberg on Libra. Cameron argued that Libra represents a step toward the mass adoption of cryptocurrency.

However, reports surfaced in late August that at least three of Facebook’s early backers for its planned Libra stablecoin launch were considering withdrawing their support in light of the fierce regulatory pushback.

Startup Finds and Patches Vulnerability in Code for Facebook’s Libra

Developers working for startup OpenZeppelin, a third-party audit firm specializing in cryptocurrency, have discovered and patched a vulnerability in Facebook’s Libra’s open-source code.

The problem

According to an article by Coindesk on Sept. 10, the crypto auditing firm found vulnerabilities in Move, which is a scripting language developed by Facebook for its stablecoin Libra. OpenZeppelin’s CEO Demian Brener said that the vulnerability would have enabled malicious actors to introduce executable code to smart contracts. He continued:

“The good news is that it was found and patched before the platform was live. Issues once thought of as benign can become more severe in the blockchain setting because auditability substitutes for trust.”

Cryptocurrencies, including Libra, must comply

Earlier today, Cointelegraph reported that a United States official said that Facebook’s Libra stablecoin must meet the highest Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and terrorism financing standards.

Global financial regulators continue to share their concerns about Libra, with the European Central Bank’s key legal official Yves Mersch recently describing Facebook’s stablecoin as “beguiling but treacherous.”

Cointelegraph reported on Aug. 18, that a delegation of United States regulators visited the Libra Association headquarters in Switzerland to investigate the project and meet local regulators. However, as Cointelegraph reported in late August, the visit was not able to assuage all of the delegation’s concerns.

Telegram to beat Facebook to the punch

Cointelegraph reported that Telegram is on track to launch its Gram cryptocurrency by October. If so, Telegram would beat Facebook’s much-anticipated Libra stablecoin, which is planned for integration into its three wholly-owned messaging services.

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