U.S. Congressman: Libra crypto ‘may do more to endanger America’ than Osama bin Laden

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Brad Sherman, a Democrat member of the U.S House of Representatives, called Facebook’s Libra a greater threat to the country than Al-Qaeda terrorist Osama bin Laden.

The sensationalist claim was made today during the House Financial Services Committee hearing on the social media giant’s upcoming cryptocurrency.

Stunning remarks

Brad Sherman (D-California) used his allotted five minutes of questioning during the hearing to blast the Libra, calling it the “Zuck Buck” and “Zuckerberg’s baby.”

However, it was his comparison of the crypto to the terrorist mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks that caused murmurs of shock and confusion to ripple through the congressional chamber.

“We’re told by some that innovation is always good. The most innovative thing that happened this century is when Osama bin Laden got the innovative idea of flying two airplanes into towers,” Sherman said.

“That’s the most consequential innovation. Although this may do more to endanger America than even that,” he added.

Sherman maintains – like many of his colleagues – that the Libra will be used for illicit activities, such as financing terrorism and money laundering.

The 10-term Democrat representative was also highly critical of Facebook itself for developing the cryptocurrency.

“They wanna solve two other problems: problem number one, Zuckerberg can’t print money yet,” Sherman quipped.

“And problem number two, Zuckerberg is under attack because he invades the privacy of ordinary Americans and sells it to the highest bidder.”

Facebook defends itself

During the hearing, David Marcus, the chief executive officer of Calibra, Facebook’s financial services subsidiary and digital wallet provider for Libra, said the company will have experts in place that will make sure their wallet will comply with all anti-money laundering and KYC regulations.

Sherman’s response was that he does not believe the social media platform will follow through on the pledge and that the Libra could be used to finance terrorism.

“Someone with an understanding of the politics of this country needs to explain to Zuckerberg that if cryptocurrency is used to finance the next terrorist attacks against Americans, a hundred lawyers … are not going to protect his rear end from the wrath of the American people,” he said.

Not a fan of crypto

Congressman Sherman’s anti-cryptocurrency stance is well known and he has publicly spoken out against it and related technologies in the past.

In March 2018, during a House subcommittee hearing on ICOs, he opened his remarks by saying that “cryptocurrencies are a crock.”

He later said on record that Bitcoin only allows “a few dozen men in my district to sit in their pajamas on their couch all day, and tell their wives they are going to be millionaires.”

He even called for a ban on crypto mining and the use of cryptocurrency by U.S. citizens back in July 2018, saying that virtual currency is only good for criminals engaging in tax evasion, narcotics, and terrorism.

The market rallies despite criticism

Unlike yesterday’s Senate Banking Committee hearing on Libra, during which the price of Bitcoin fell nearly 8 percent, today’s hearing appears to have had the opposite effect.

Bitcoin, which had reached a month-to-date low of US$9,187 [AU$13,101] just prior to the hearing, rose steadily throughout the day and is currently trading at $9,881 – a gain of more than 7.5 percent.

Top altcoins are reporting similar gains, according to CoinMarketCap.

Jeff Francis

Jeff has taken a roundabout way to becoming a cryptocurrency writer. He has always had a huge interest in history, which led to him receiving a degree in medieval history. He once thought of becoming a teacher but eventually joined some friends in opening a hobby shop. Jeff eventually took over sole proprietorship of the business and ran it for over 10 years. He then moved on to online selling and then into gaming journalism. He has spent the last 10 years writing professionally for various websites as well as creating content for many businesses. A few years back, he began hearing about Bitcoin and the rise of other cryptocurrencies. A proponent of allowing people to take economic power into their own hands, Jeff has enthusiastically supported cryptocurrencies, not to mention the many benefits of blockchain technology. This interest propelled him to becoming a writer for, and later editor of, several cryptocurrency-focused websites. Jeff is a lifelong geek and gamer. He tries to keep up with the slew of TV shows and movies that fall into the fantasy/sci-fi/superhero genres, and he still plays pen-and-paper role-playing games on the weekends. He lives in Florida, USA, as he cannot stand cold weather.

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