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US Senators ask Mark Zuckerberg to share details on crypto project

Image: Bloomberg Via Getty Images

Mon, 13 May 2019, 05:32 am UTC

The buzz around Facebook’s secret cryptocurrency projects seems to have reached the U.S. authorities.

In an open letter dated May 09, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee has asked Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to share the details about the project.

“Last year, Facebook asked U.S. banks to share detailed financial information about consumers. In addition, privacy experts have raised questions about Facebook’s extensive data collection practices and whether any of the data collected by Facebook is being used for purposes that do or should subject Facebook to the Fair Credit Reporting Act,” the letter reads.

In all, the committee has put up a total of 7 questions for Zuckerberg to respond. Some of these are focused on the crypto project’s compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, and privacy and consumer protections.

A larger set of questions is about consumer financial information shared by financial companies. The committee is interested in knowing the extent of such information received by Facebook, what it plans to do with it, and how it plans to safeguard the information.

Furthermore, it also asked the social media giant to disclose if it shares or sells this information with any unaffiliated third parties, whether it has any information bearing on an individual’s creditworthiness and other personal details, and how it ensures that it would not infringe upon the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

While Facebook has been trying hard to keep the project under wraps, reports on the purported “stablecoin” have been floating in the media for the past couple of months. The company launched a blockchain division last May and has been staffing up this division. It also acquired the team behind blockchain startup Chainspace in February 2019.

Reports have suggested that “Facebook Coin” will be pegged to a basket of different foreign currencies and make it easy for users to send money to each other and make online payments. MIT professor Christian Catalini is also reportedly working on the project.

More recently, reports suggested that India is likely to be the first country where Facebook will trial its token.

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