Stopping Libra will give China an edge: Zuckerberg

New Delhi, Oct 23 (IANS) Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is going to tell the US Congress that restricting its digital currency Libra will give China headway in this space which is already working on such projects.

According to prepared remarks released ahead of a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, Zuckerberg said a digital payments system is going to be important in the future.

“If America doesn’t lead on this, others will. Foreign companies or countries may act without the same regulatory oversight or commitment to transparency that we have,” he noted.

Zuckerberg stressed that the rest of the world isn’t waiting.

“China is moving quickly to launch similar ideas in the coming months. Libra will be backed mostly by dollars and I believe it will extend America’s financial leadership as well as our democratic values and oversight around the world.

“If America doesn’t innovate, our financial leadership is not guaranteed,” he wrote.

Zuckerberg will testify before the US House of Representatives to discuss concerns over his ambitious digital currency ‘Libra’ that has run into rough weather.

He will be grilled by lawmakers and regulators during the Q&A session at the US House Financial Services Committee.

In July, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the committee sent a letter to Facebook requesting an immediate moratorium on the implementation of Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, Libra, and digital wallet, Calibra.

US lawmakers have attacked Facebook on its Libra project, calling it “delusional” and “dangerous”.

“I recognize that some have expressed concerns about the Libra project and Facebook’s role in it. We’ve heard that people are concerned that we are moving too fast,” said Zuckerberg.

“We want to be clear: Facebook will not be a part of launching the Libra payments system anywhere in the world unless all US regulators approve it. And we support Libra delaying its launch until it has fully addressed US regulatory concerns,” he added.

Despite some top-notch firms pulling out, Facebook and 20 partner organisations have formally launched the digital currency Libra project.

Companies like Paypal, Visa, Mastercard and EBay have pulled out of the Libra cryptocurrency project to apparently avoid the US regulators who are scrutinizing Facebook and its subsidiaries.

Seven of Facebook partners have dropped out of the project.

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