International finance leaders are joining U.S. officials and lawmakers in raising concerns over Facebook’s new digital currency, the latest blow for the social media giant after two days of bruising hearings on Capitol Hill.
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who is currently in France at a meeting with G-7 finance officials, said on Thursday the other nations in the bloc have "very significant" worries about Libra.
“Before any of us let these go through, we will make sure that those concerns were satisfied. That there are money laundering issues, financial issues, consumer protection issues. These are complicated issues and it's all of our jobs to protect the financial system,” he told CNBC.
Mnuchin added that Libra "may or may not be something that we get comfortable with," depending on whether it is properly regulated. Still, reducing transaction costs, which is one of the goals of Facebook’s digital currency efforts, remains a top mission for the G-7's finance leaders.
“Whether Libra is the solution or something else, we will make sure that occurs,” said Mnuchin.
The comments add new pressure for Facebook after House and Senate lawmakers from both sides of the aisle spent the past two days blasting the firm’s attempt to enter the digital currency industry.
David Marcus, who heads the Menlo Park, California-based firm’s digital wallet, Calibra, was peppered with questions on how Facebook would protect consumers who use the product and whether it could undermine global currencies or contribute to human rights violations.
Marcus repeatedly stressed that Libra would not launch until all regulatory concerns have been addressed, but declined to commit to introducing the offering as a pilot program or halting work on advancing the product until Congress is able to pass legislation overseeing it.