Libra hearing unites US Congress and the crypto community?
It has not been a good couple of weeks for Libra.
One look at today's Top Emerging Trends on crypto social media confirms that the Senate hearing on Facebook's upcoming cryptocurrency is the talk of the crypto town:
After Donald Trump blasted the coin in a series of anti-crypto tweets last Thursday, it was now time for other members of the United States government to join the Libra roast.
It started on Tuesday, when Libra project head David Marcus testified in front of the United States Senate Banking Committee. Right out of the gate, the US senators hardly minced words when expressing concerns about Facebook’s nascent cryptocurrency:
“It’s Monopoly money” cried Senator Senator Brown in his opening remarks. “You really think people should trust you with their bank accounts and economy, that’s delusional.”
The hearing quickly turned into a bipartisan lampooning of both Facebook and Calibra, whose ‘non-profit’ status also raised a few eyebrows among attending officials:
“Explain how paying dividends makes Libra a not-for-profit.”, requested Senator Pat Tomey - a question mostly left unanswered by the Libra project rep.
Over the past 48 hours, mentions of 'senate' and 'hearing' ballooned on crypto social media, as the crowd eagerly watched Libra get dismantled by public officials:
The hearing was a disaster - and it didn’t get much better for David Marcus on Wednesday either, when he testified before the House Financial Services Committee, in front of an equally unreceptive crowd.
Marcus faced over 4 hours of questions about Facebook’s roadmap for Libra, with the company’s previous track record on privacy seen as a major stumbling block for many House officials:
“I think before you move on to Libra, you ought to clean up the messes of the past,” advised Representative Madeleine Dean.
However, it wasn’t the Libra takedown itself that captured the attention of the crypto community.
In pleading their case against a potential Facebook cryptocurrency, several House and Senate representatives spoke unusually highly on Bitcoin and the potential of the blockchain technology in general - and that was the biggest story on crypto social media throughout the day.
The highest praise probably came from congressman Warren Davidson, who said - and this is an actual quote from an actual US House hearing - “a lot of people in this space will use a phrase[...]: ‘There’s Bitcoin, and then there’s shitcoin”.
The quote quickly made waves on crypto reddit, where most people welcomed Mr. Davidson’s remarks as a pleasant surprise - but a surprise nonetheless:
- “Holy s#!t. This week has been incredible for BTC’s exposure. First Trump, then Treasury Secretary, now this.“
- “Who would've thought that this was going to happen in 2015...goddamm.“
- “having at least two, but perhaps even a few more well informed representatives is a huge step forward compared to 2013 when the first senate hearings about Bitcoin took place.”
Congressman Davidson wasn’t the only representative singing praises to the industry. In his own Libra takedown, Congressman Tom Emmer welcomed the government’s newfound attention to crypto, tho calling it woefully overdue:
“I’m glad after all these years that Congress has finally decided to pay attention to the technology that could again, just like the Internet, upend the way we do everything in our lives.’
Mr. Emmer’s comments also made quite a splash in the cryptoverse, with crowd reactions ranging from ecstasy to disbelief:
- "A rare but profound speech from congress. What a breath of fresh air."
- "OMG. Melted my crusty heart; made me cry; restored some faith in government…"
- "we are definitely in the bizarro dimension... like I can't believe i'm hearing this..."
Overall, although Libra was positively dismantled in front of not one - but both chambers of the highest legislative body in the US of A, the general crypto sentiment was overwhelmingly bullish:
- "The congressional hearing and the cnbc coverage is the most bullish thing that has happened to crypto.Congress saying that it's the next revolutionary thing, like the internet, that change the way we do everything."
- "n contrast with Libra, Bitcoin is really shining in this congressional hearing, especially in the expert testimonies. There's plenty of respect for Bitcoin among the congress members as well it seems. I'm impressed, we've come such a long way."
But what’s even weirder is that the decidedly anti-establishment crowd has - for the first time in what feels like forever - actually had a kind word or two to say about a country’s elected officials:
- "Overall that committee hearing was really insightful, and they all did an outstanding job at trying to gain knowledge on cryptocurrencies, libra, and how everything fits together."
- "House hearing is over, dipshits revealed themselves, but there was some surprising crypto-aware and intelligent questions about the tech and the economics too."
- "The hearing was full of very ignorant responses. But there were truth bombs thrown in there, and thats what most important. Its a step forward."
The sheer awkwardness of the US Congress and the general crypto community - longstanding ideological foes and financial adversaries - showering each other with praises was perhaps best put into words by u_OneSmallStepForLambo on reddit, who said:
"Things I never thought I would say > Yeah man, come over. We can re-watch this congress hearing and have some beers"