In June, weighing in on Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency Libra, Tendermint Labs core dev Sunny Aggarwal told me that the advent of cryptocurrencies has pushed big tech, the crypto space, and nation-state governments into a gridlock that will be the “big battle of the next decade.”
Judging by a new draft proposal, currently circulating among the Democratic majority that leads the U.S. House Financial Services Committee according to Reuters, this battle has begun.
The bill, bluntly named “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act,” aims to “prohibit large platform utilities from being a financial institution or being affiliated with a person that is a financial institution.”
Make no mistake, this is about Facebook
While the bill speaks in general terms, it’s quite clearly aimed at Facebook and Libra. The “large platform utility” is defined as a technology company with “an annual global revenue of $25,000,000,000 or more” and one that is “predominately engaged in the business of offering to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties.”
If one had to define Facebook in two sentences, those two would work perfectly. Note the bit that says the “large platform utilities” can’t even be “affiliated with” a person that is a financial institution. Libra (both the blockchain and the digital coin) is governed and owned by the Switzerland-based Libra Foundation, where Facebook is just one of founding members, but this bill appears to prohibit such a venture, too.
Furthermore, the proposal speci
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