Democrats in Congress are reportedly considering a new bill that would stop Facebook’s cryptocurrency from being launched. Dubbed the Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act, the new bill would explicitly ban large platform companies from performing banking functions. The bill would be a direct rebuke to Facebook’s plans with the Libra cryptocurrency, which would likely have to be severed from the company if the bill were introduced and passed.
The bill has not yet been introduced to Congress, and as a result, its contents are far from final. Still, it has been the subject of significant interest as representatives from Facebook appear before the House Banking Committee on Wednesday. According per the reports of The Verge it obtained a draft copy of the bill that was circulated for discussion.
The text of the bill says simply “A large platform utility may not be, and may not be affiliated with any person that is, a financial institution, with further sections spelling out the definitions of various terms. Most notably, large platform utility is defined as a technology company with an annual global revenue of $25,000,000,000 or more…predominately engaged in the business of offering to the public an online marketplace, an exchange, or a platform for connecting third parties.”
Now it is not clear at the moment what impact it will have on tech-oriented finance companies like PayPal or Square if they were to reach $25 billion in annual revenue. However, it would certainly apply to Facebook, and bar any involvement with Libra as affiliation with a financial institution.
(Via The Verge)