The chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, U.S. Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-Ca., called for a moratorium on Facebook's (FB) - Get Report cryptocurrency initiative Tuesday, just hours after the social media giant released a white paper describing its plans.
"Given the company's troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action," Waters said in a statement.
Waters was joined by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle in raising questions about the cryptocurrency, which Facebook is calling Libra.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, who sits on the House Financial Services Committee, penned a letter to Waters calling for a hearing on Libra. Several other lawmakers, including U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Oh., and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., decried the initiative in statements on Tuesday.
Facebook also came under criticism from U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. He said the new cryptocurrency appears to be another case of Facebook "expanding their monopoly," Yahoo Finance reported. "We need to see exactly what their specific proposals are, but I'm very concerned about Facebook's behavior on a range of fronts," Hawley said, according to the report.
In Europe, Facebook's announcement of Libra sparked an immediate response from central bankers, with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire calling on the Group of Seven governors to convene a report for its July meeting.
In a statement, Facebook responded: "We look forward to responding to lawmakers' questions as this process moves forward."
Facebook shares closed 0.3% lower on Tuesday.
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