Banking and Finance Law Daily Garcia introduces bill to block Facebook’s Libra currency,(Oct. 24, 2019)
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Garcia introduces bill to block Facebook’s Libra currency,(Oct. 24, 2019)

By Lisa M. Goolik, J.D.

The Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act would prohibit large platforms from developing a virtual currency or affiliating with financial institutions.

After questioning Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at the House Financial Services Committee hearing on Oct. 23, 2019, Rep. Jesus "Chuy" Garcia (D-Ill) introduced legislation that would block Facebook, and other "large platform utilities," from developing digital currencies. The Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act would also prohibit the platforms from affiliating with financial institutions—any platforms that are currently affiliated with a financial institution would be required to end their relationship within one year of the bill’s enactment. The platforms would also have one year to wind down any cryptocurrencies they currently maintain.

The bill defines a "large platform utility" as a technology company with an annual global revenue of at least $25 billion that is "predominately engaged in the business of offering to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties." Violators of the law, if enacted, would face fines up to $1 million per day.

"Left unregulated, Facebook is another ‘too-big-to-fail institution’ like those that caused the 2008 financial meltdown," warned Garcia. "Not only will Facebook use their monopoly on private data to manipulate markets, consumers will be exposed to immense financial risks without government protections for their money or investments."

Companies: Facebook

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