US Lawmakers to Discuss Facebook Libra on Swiss Visit

Local news source NZZ am Sonntag said Saturday that a six-member group from the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee plans to meet Adrian Lobsiger, the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner, to discuss Facebook’s plans for Libra in the country.

A delegation of U.S. lawmakers is set to discuss Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project with the Swiss data privacy chief when they visit the country this week.

Congresswoman Maxine Waters, a Democrat who has been outspoken in her opposition to the Libra project will lead the delegation. Waters previously called for Facebook to halt development of the Libra Network until hearings could be held over potential regulatory issues.

She’s also told CNBC:

“It’s very important for Facebook to stop right now what they’re doing so that we can get a handle on this”, Waters said in mid-June. “We’ve got to protect our consumers. We just can’t allow them to go to Switzerland with all of its associates and begin to compete with the dollar.”

Lobsiger may well have things to say on Facebook when the group arrives. The commissioner released a statement on July 23, saying that even though Facebook Libra’s controlling entity, the Libra Association, is set up in Switzerland, the social media giant had not responded to a request for more information on the cryptocurrency project.

Among the expected details on Libra, Lobsiger said his office was expecting an impact assessment of risks around data protection, as well as an evaluation of the risks and proposed countermeasures.

Binance Reveals ‘Venus’ – Its Own Project to Rival Facebook’s Libra

Top cryptocurrency exchange Binance is launching an open blockchain project “Venus” focused on developing localized stablecoins worldwide.

In an announcement published today, Aug. 19, the exchange argues it is well-positioned to launch such a currency ecosystem in light of its existing public chain technology, Binance Chain, wide user base and already established global compliance measures.

Leveraging existing know-how

The exchange says it is seeking partnerships with governments, corporations, technology firms, and other cryptocurrency and blockchain projects in order to develop a new currency ecosystem that will empower both developed and developing countries

The exchange’s vision for the project, per the announcement, is to “build a new open alliance and sustainable community” that enlists partners who wield influence on a global scale.

Binance Chain, as the announcement notes, has already been running several native asset-pegged stablecoins, including a Bitcoin-pegged stablecoin (BTCB) and the Binance BGBP Stable Coin (BGBP) pegged to the British Pound.

Binance says it will leverage its existing infrastructure and experience with various regulatory regimes to consolidate a compliance risk control system and build a multi-dimensional cooperation network for the Venus project.

Vying with Libra

Binance’s ambitious new venture appears to compete directly with plans from social media titan Facebook to launch a fiat-pegged stablecoin, Libra, that would power a global crypto payments network embedded into the company’s three wholly-owned apps: WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram.

With its choice of name, “Venus”, Binance is also stepping into the astrological waters of both Facebook’s Libra project and the Winklevoss Twins’ Gemini exchange and Gemini dollar.

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