Libra Gets First Major Political Backer in US Congress
Libra, the underfire planned cryptocurrency led by Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), has been dominating headlines in the world of crypto for all the wrong reasons. Regulators on both sides of the Atlantic have been staunchly opposed to the development of the coin, labeling it a threat to the economic and monetary sovereignty of nations. However, in a rare show of political support for Libra, Republican Senator for South Dakota Mike Rounds has written to Anchorage to endorse the project.
Anchorage, a South Dakota-based trust fund, is one of the 21 founding chartered members of the Libra Association, the non-profit organization that will oversee the project. Rounds described the project as an example of a technological advancement that he feels is needed to aid US consumers. “Technologies like Libra … have the potential to help unbanked and underbanked consumers right here at home […] It would be unfortunate to shun a new solution that could connect more of the most vulnerable Americans to our financial services system,” wrote Rounds.
Rounds also emphasized his belief in the importance of Congressional regulation of Libra and said he supports expanding US anti-money laundering law to cover cryptocurrency, but he was critical of the “archaic and inflexible nature of our regulatory and legal system” that drives companies to incorporate internationally. Rounds also described the negative reaction to Libra as “puzzling” and claimed that there is no legal way to define a cryptocurrency as a security, due to the fact the Securities Act of 1933 is outdated.
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It is an interesting stance from Rounds, although undoubtedly motivated by the backing of a major trust fund located in his home state. However, it will be interesting to see if Rounds’ support of Libra leads to more politicians going against the grain and also voicing their support for the project. Mark Zuckerberg is due to defend Libra before congress at a meeting of the House Financial Services Committee next Wednesday, which will be chaired by one of its staunchest critics, Democrat Representative Maxine Waters of California.
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