Facebook Hires Lobbying Firm to Ease Regulatory Pressure on Libra

Facebook has hired a Washington-based lobbying firm to help it grapple with the negative responses sparked by the announcement of its planned Libra cryptocurrency project.

According to an O’Dwyer PR report published on Aug. 26, the social media giant is working with FS Vector — a consultancy firm that specializes in regulatory compliance, public policy, and business strategy for the fintech, cryptocurrency, blockchain and financial services sectors.

The FS Vector Facebook account

Facebook’s lobbying registration documents filed with the United States Congress reportedly reveal that the firm is retaining FS Vector for support on “issues related to blockchain policy.”

Leading the Facebook account is FS Vector partner John Collins, former vice president of international policy at the American Bankers Association’s international subsidiary, the Bankers Association for Finance and Trade. 

Previously, Collins had worked at the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and also spearheaded Congress’ first research into digital currencies in 2013. 

Persistent doubts

As reported, the latest chapter in United States regulators’ ongoing scrutiny of Facebook’s planned global cryptocurrency involved a visit to meet Switzerland’s financial authorities. 

Facebook has notably chosen to register the Libra Association, the independent governance consortium for its planned Libra token, in Switzerland. 

At a hearing before United States House representatives in mid-July, David Marcus —  chief of Facebook’s Calibra wallet service — had claimed that the choice had “nothing to do with evading regulations or oversight,” arguing instead that the jurisdiction is an international hub conducive to doing business. 

Following their meeting with Swiss government officials and local regulatory agencies last week, members of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee said that their concerns remained about “allowing a large tech company to create a privately controlled, alternative global currency.”

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