Facebook’s Zuckerberg open to scaling back Libra plan

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Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg opened the door Wednesday to scaling back plans for its digital coin Libra if it cannot win approval as a new currency for global exchanges .
Zuckerberg made the comments as he faced a torrent of criticism at a congressional hearing over the planned cryptocurrency it is seeking to roll out next year .
“ We clearly have not locked down exactly how this is going to work yet , ” Zuckerberg told a hearing of the House Financial Service Committee .
“The goal of Libra is to build a global payment system rather than a currency . ”
This could result in digital payment systems using individual currencies, which would be less ambitious than a new coin linked to a basket of major currencies .
“ I personally am much more focused on being able to help innovate and build a global payment system than I am in any specific makeup of what currency or reserve might look like, ” he said .
“ There is already some discussion about whether it might make sense to build the kind of digital payment system … based on individual sovereign currencies rather than a combination of these currencies into some new one. ”
Zuckerberg repeated his pledge that Libra — which is backed by an alliance of companies in a nonprofit , Swiss – based association — would not launch without full regulatory approvals .
The hearing brought out harsh criticism from lawmakers of Facebook ’ s data practices and scepticism about Libra in particular .
“ It would be beneficial for all if Facebook concentrates on addressing its many existing deficiencies and failures before proceeding any further on the Libra project, ” Representative Maxine Waters , who chairs the panel , said at the opening.
Republican Representative Patrick McHenry offered a more sympathetic view , suggesting the plan should be given the benefit of the doubt given that similar plans are being made in China and elsewhere .
“I have my qualms about Facebook and Libra … but if history has taught us anything it ’ s better to be on the side of American innovation. ”

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