Given how slowly Washington lawmakers have taken to devise a coherent, informed view of cryptocurrency, the Chair of the House Financial Services Committee’s rapid leap to action last week over Facebook’s ambitious Libra project was remarkably fast.
But let’s reflect not on the details of Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-Calif.) urgent requests that Facebook to cease work on Libra until after hearings are held or on how European lawmakers made similar appeals. The important takeaway from these legislators’ actions is that they are able to make such demands at all. since this is not the case with truly decentralized projects.
Unlike with bitcoin, representative in Congress can directly identify and talk to the people in charge of the Libra project. They can subpoena them and, thus, pressure them. They might start with David Marcus, head of Facebook subsidiary Calibra, but, ultimately, it’s Facebook