Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Defends Libra Project in Written Testimony

Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23.
By Annie Gaus ,

Mark Zuckerberg is making the case that Libra, Facebook's embattled digital currency, must be permitted to move forward. 

In prepared remarks released on Tuesday, Zuckerberg wrote that Facebook (FB) - Get Report "isn't the ideal messenger" for launching Libra, but pledged to earn the support of U.S. regulators in bringing the currency to users. The Facebook CEO is due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday morning. 

In the statement, Zuckerberg expounded on Facebook's stated goals in launching Libra, described as a "global payments system, fully backed by a reserve of cash and other highly liquid assets." Zuckerberg's testimony will be the third round of testimony on the proposed project, and follows two rancorous congressional hearings with David Marcus, the Facebook executive in charge of the project, over two days in July. 

Several members of the Libra Association, the governing body in charge of overseeing the currency, backed out of the project this month after U.S. lawmakers warned they could be liable for criminal activity or other issues with the Libra currency. 

Zuckerberg argued that the currenct financial system underserves people across the world who need to transfer money abroad or easily make payments, and also argued that the "risks of not innovating" outweigh concerns about Libra. 

"While we debate these issues, the rest of the world isn't waiting...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," he wrote.  

Nonetheless, Zuckerberg distanced Facebook from the possibility of launching Libra without the support of regulators, a position the company has taken before. 

"Facebook will not be part of launching the Libra payments system anywhere in the world until US regulators approve," he wrote. 

Facebook is a key holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS charitable trust.