Facebook Inc, has hired a lobbying firm to help with the regulatory pushback around its cryptocurrency project Libra, the O’Dwyrers has reported.
The social media giant in August retained the Washington-based firm FS Vector to work on “issues related to blockchain policy,” the PR and marketing-focused news outlet said yesterday, citing a registration documents filed with the US Congress. FS Vector partner John Collins leads the lobbying effort for Libra. Collins led the policy team at Coinbase, the largest crypto exchange in the US, from September 2014 to January 2016, industry website Coindesk noted in its own report on the development.
Coindesk also pointed out that Facebook had reportedly already spent more than $7.5 million this year on lobbying for Libra. A Politico report last month claimed that the company’s lobbyists included Sternhell Group and the Cypress Group and the law firm Davis Polk.
Announced just over two months ago, Facebook’s plan to launch a crypto asset tied to a basket of low volatility assets and a digital currency wallet was largely welcomed by industry participants and observers. However, it also prompted significant regulatory pushback, with watchdogs and lawmakers around the world voicing their concerns about the project. US lawmakers last month grilled Facebook’s blockchain chief David Marcus, with some calling the tech giant to halt development on the project until any potential risks have been resolved. Facebook subsequently admitted that the project may never see the light of day in the face of growing regulatory pushback and uncertain market acceptance.
The project is being overseen by a Geneva-based consortium called Libra Association. The consortium is comprised of 28 founding members, including big companies such as Visa, Mastercard, Uber Technologies and Vodafone Group. Facebook’s newly created blockchain arm Calibra is one of the founding members.
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