Facebook (FB - Get Report) Calibra head David Marcus is set to testify before Congress this week, with stops at the Senate Tuesday and House Wednesday, about Libra, Facebook's push into the digital currency space.
The Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs released Marcus' testimony ahead of his hearing Tuesday, providing a glimpse into the case he plans to make. A number of politicians and officials, including Federal Reserve chief Jerome Powell and President Trump, made critical comments about Facebook's plans for Libra last week.
Facebook sees Libra as an avenue to develop "a safe, secure, and low-cost way for people to move money efficiently around the world," according to Marcus' prepared remarks. "We believe that Libra can make real progress toward building a more inclusive financial infrastructure."
The infrastructure governing the cryptocurrency will most likely receive the most attention over the next two days as lawmakers work to determine if Facebook's currency is in the best interest of the country.
Marcus made an argument that it was important for a U.S. company to play the lead in developing a global digital currency.
"I believe that if America does not lead innovation in the digital currency and payments area, others will," he wrote. "If we fail to act, we could soon see a digital currency controlled by others whose values are dramatically different."
He also sought to ally concerns that Libra aims to be a currency that challenges the sovereignty of governments and that would undermine their ability to control monetary policy.
"The Libra Association, which will manage the Reserve, has no intention of competing with any sovereign currencies or entering the monetary policy arena," Marcus wrote. "It will work with the Federal Reserve and other central banks to make sure Libra does not compete with sovereign currencies or interfere with monetary policy."
While cryptos such as bitcoin (BTC) have been plagued by volatility, making them difficult to use as currency, Facebook plans to peg Libra to a basket of assets known as the Libra Reserve that includes cash bank deposits currencies that will include the U.S. dollar, the British pound, the euro and Japanese yen.
"The assets in the Libra Reserve will be held by a geographically distributed network of regulated custodians with investment-grade credit ratings to provide high auditability, as well as transparency, security, and a decentralization of the assets," Marcus said.
"Because Libra will be backed by the Reserve, anyone using Libra should have a high degree of confidence that they will be able to sell it for local fiat currency based on an exchange rate, just like exchanging one currency for another when traveling."
Facebook shares were down 0.76% to $203.39 on Monday; they are up 55% so far this year.
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