Russia Threatens to Block Facebook if the US Burns Libra Cryptocurrency
According to President Vladimir Putin's special representative for IT, Dmitry Peskov, if Libra launches without sufficient control measures, “the likelihood of Facebook being blocked” will increase in Russia.
“If Libra launches without controls or Gram, the likelihood of the scenario appearing in which we block (Facebook) significantly increases, not just in Russia but in every country,”
Referring to another proposed cryptocurrency, he said this through the Telegram services.
Pesmok later admitted that the decision to block the cryptocurrency doesn't depend on the Russian government.
Still, the U.S. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to defend Libra before the House Financial Services. At the hearing, Zuckerberg is scheduled to pitch Libra as a prime example of American innovation that can help “extend” the country's “financial leadership” and “democratic values.” But he will also acknowledge long-simmering concerns about Facebook itself, after a long list of various privacy scandals and mounting antitrust scrutiny.
The Finance ministers in France have also stated that they will block Facebook's Libra as it possesses a threat to government monetary sovereignty.
Libra's co-creator, David Marcus, came under intense scrutiny in front of the Senate in August, with officials lamenting the decision to base the company in Switzerland and the potential threat to the U.S. Dollar.
Facebook has repeatedly said that it will wait until it has the appropriate regulatory approval from all quarters before rolling out Libra, but that could take a long time if opponents are citing the sovereignty of currency and national security concerns as reasons to block the project.
In the past, Russia had also made threats to block Facebook due to issues in connection with data storage. Various high profile companies have pulled out of the Libra association against regulatory concerns. The latest is PayPal, which got cold feet after admitting that they have to concentrate on advancing the existing business objectives.