AOC rips Facebook during Libra House hearing

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was one of a number of lawmakers on Wednesday to criticize the plans from Facebook to launch its own cryptocurrency, called Libra.

Ocasio-Cortez made the remarks as David Marcus, the head of Libra’s Calibra wallet, testified before the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday afternoon. Marcus also faced criticism on Tuesday from lawmakers on the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee.

The New York lawmaker focused on a remark Marcus made on Tuesday when he said he’d be comfortable receiving his full salary in Libra, but also criticized Facebook as a whole.

“I believe we are here today because Facebook, which is a publishing platform, an advertising network, a personal telecommunications network, a surveillance corporation, a content distributor, now also wants to establish a currency and act through its wallet as–at minimum–a payment processor,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “Why should these activities be consolidated under one corporation?”

Marcus responded, saying the company had the ability to “invest” in trying to help “the very people who are left behind right now.”

Ocasio-Cortez then pivoted and brought up Marcus’ claim on Tuesday that he’d take his salary in Libra.

“You stated yesterday in front of the Senate committee that you would be open to accepting 100 percent of your pay in Libra. In the history of this country, there is a term for being paid in a corporate-controlled currency. Do you know what that term is?” she asked Marcus.

When he answered he was not familiar, she continued:

“It’s called ‘scrip’,” she said. “Are you familiar with ‘scrip’? … The idea that your pay could be controlled by a corporation instead of a sovereign government. Do you think there’s any risk here?”

Ocasio-Cortez’s time expired before she could finish her question or Marcus could answer it.

On Tuesday Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) also grilled Marcus and Facebook as a whole, calling the social media giant “dangerous” and questioning how the government could “trust” the company with its Libra project.

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Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich

Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).