Facebook cannot be trusted to manage cryptocurrencies, according to a group of US legislators, who have asked the social media platform to immediately halt a limited trial of its bitcoin wallet, Novi, which was introduced on Tuesday.
Senators Brian Schatz, Sherrod Brown, Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren, and Tina Smith of the United States of America have expressed their objection to Facebook’s two-year-old attempt to establish a cryptocurrency and digital wallet.
“Despite the fact that these plans are incompatible with the actual financial regulatory landscape, Facebook is once again pursuing digital currency plans on an aggressive timeline and has already launched a pilot for a payments infrastructure network,” the senators wrote in a letter to Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg.
The senators stated, “Facebook cannot be trusted to administer a payment system or digital currency when its current capacity to manage risks and keep customers secure has proved totally ineffective.”
Even Facebook’s modest pilot of its cryptocurrency wallet will be scrutinized by lawmakers and authorities, according to the senators’ letter, who have previously voiced antitrust and other concerns.
“We look forward to responding to the committee’s letter,” a Novi spokeswoman said.
In June 2019, Facebook announced a cryptocurrency initiative as part of its push into e-commerce and worldwide payments.
However, governments throughout the world were quick to oppose the initiative, fearing that it would weaken their authority over the financial system, allow crime, and compromise users’ privacy.
The project was renamed in December in a further effort to win regulatory permission, and its scope was further reduced to a single dollar-backed digital currency.