Brian Armstrong took on to Twitter to bash the United States Senators who wrote letters to Facebook Libra partner members and founding members of Libra Foundation.
Facebook itself was unable to provide any public statements on this matter, but the chief executive officer at Coinbase Brian Armstrong was rather vocal and remain steadfast in his disapproval of these “intimidation tactics”.
He expressed that the Senators had resorted to behavior deemed “Un-American”. He furthers via Twitter; if a private-company had initiated this, the behavior would be “monopolistic”.
Something feels very un-american about this. Two senators writing to Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe to ask them to withdraw from Libra. https://t.co/U3Y7zkuCFB
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) October 13, 2019
He also questioned whether individuals needed a centralized or decentralized economy, stating that the free market allows for thousands of ideas to be tested.
Vice President of Gartner Research, Avivah Litan raised a similar voice in disapproval of these tactics. She noted how governments were terrified of losing their control to upcoming technology initiations like Libra, in her discussion with CNBC.
Governments are threatened by both Libra & Bitcoin, says @avivahl. “In the case of Libra you replace central authority with task force authority and big tech authority. In the case of Bitcoin you just replace all central authority.” pic.twitter.com/KpEV4CR17V
— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) October 14, 2019
She highlighted how a non-state asset like Bitcoin is making governments rather fearful of its ability to overthrow their monopoly.
Facebook Libra partner influenced by US Senators
Facebook Libra partner organizations including; Mastercard, Paypal, Stripe, and Mercado announced they were abandoning their plan to go digital, i.e via cryptocurrency on Friday, the 11th of October.
These were Libra Foundation founding members and Facebook Libra partner squad, that had been planning to inaugurate Libra. However, owed to the abandonment, it came under increased pressure by suffering this major blow. Later, it was revealed that political impelling was part of the process.
Facebook has held a track record of misusing its users’ data. Alongside this factor, they were accused of multiple issues related to terrorist funding, economic solidity, money laundering, etc.
These came in the form of letters at the hands of the politicians namely, Senator Brian Schatz (senior United States Senator from Hawaii belonging to the Democratic Party) and Sherrod Brown (senior United States Senator from Ohio also belonging to the Democratic Party), addressed to the executive officers:
- Mastercard CEO and president Ajaypal Singh Banga
- Stripe CEO Patrick Collinson
- Visa CEO Alfred F. Kelly Jr.
They cautioned the companies against moving forward keeping in mind the criminal activities Facebook had partaken in, with a project like this likely to ‘fuel’ these activities. Therefore Facebook Libra partner organizations are leaving.
This morphed into a rather threatening message addressed to the trio, warning them of the consequences extending to “large levels of scrutiny from regulators” in case they continued with the Libra project. The scrutiny would be targeted at all payments, Libra-related or not.