There seems to be a pattern of statements about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency recently, starting with President Donald Trump. Although the comments have been mostly negative, Bitcoin is getting a thumbs up from U.S House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy this time.
Speaking on CNBC, McCarthy said he likes Bitcoin because of its decentralized nature and the fact that it has no central control. He also mentioned that Blockchain technology upon which Bitcoin operates on, provides security for the system thus making it more reliable than existing financial systems.
He was however critical of Facebook’s plan to release Libra as a digital currency. He expressed reservations on Libra, saying it plans to control the market as is the case with Facebook apart from its centralized nature.
“When I’m on Facebook, I’m not the customer, I’m the product, Facebook is free because they sell your data to make money. Now they want to get into the business, and they’re not bitcoin, in this Libra. They’re not decentralized,” he opined.
Trump had last week said he was not a fan of cryptocurrencies which are based on thin air and without real value. Yesterday, U.S Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also spoke on cryptocurrency in a briefing at the White House.
In both of their statements, the two have been critical of Libra, with Trump calling for Facebook to follow all regulations guiding traditional financial institutions for Libra to be recognized as a currency.
Mnuchin, on the other hand, expressed concerns that Libra could be leveraged by criminals for all kinds of illicit activities. Even McCarthy who isn’t completely against cryptocurrency has also expressed concerns on the introduction of Libra.
Facebook is facing congress for hearing on Capitol Hill this week on Libra and the outcome will determine if the company is given a go-ahead for the project or not.
So far, the atmosphere has been very tense for Facebook, mainly because the government considers Libra to be a threat to the existing financial system and indeed the U.S Dollar. More information on the hearings will come as it is made available.