Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, testified yesterday in front of Congress in favor of Facebook's planned cryptocurrency, Libra.

There have been a number of concerns that Facebook will sidestep regulators in the production and release of the new cryptocurrency, due to the large amount of pushback it's received from U.S. and European regulators.

In fact, Libra has lost seven of its original 28 partners in the last several weeks.

Libra Cryptocurrency News: Zuckerberg Grilled by Congress

Facebook, as a company, has faced a lot of criticism in recent years. That's why the Libra cryptocurrency news isn't sitting well.

Issues surrounding user data and privacy have surfaced, causing a lot of people to distrust the Facebook corporation.

The problems only progressed and were highlighted further during and after the 2016 presidential election when misinformation and fake political ads became an increasingly malignant matter on the Facebook platform.

This, combined with the apparent inefficiency of the Facebook platform to disengage and remove hate groups, hate speech, and discriminatory content from the site, has led to a significant distrust of Facebook and Zuckerberg's commitment to diversity and inclusion, as he spent a large portion of his written testimony discussing.

Yet Zuckerberg persists with the Libra cryptocurrency news and the fact that Libra is intended to promote financial inclusion among all people internationally.

Much of the questioning has been directly related to the many things that Facebook has been scrutinized for recently -- particularly issues of diversity and inclusion and transparency in advertising -- resulting in the questions and answers of the hearing being essentially as vague as Libra itself.

This has given Zuckerberg a chance to distance the Facebook corporation from the Libra Association despite his heavy involvement in the production of the cryptocurrency.

Congressman Ben McAdams of Utah posed a line of questioning focused specifically on Facebook Messenger and the company's plans to follow in the footsteps of its other messaging app, WhatsApp, in updating Messenger with end-to-end encryption.

End-to-end encryption would prevent Facebook from being able to see the content of messages shared over the app, and has brought up concerns following a massive scandal last year in which over 45 million photos and videos containing child sexual abuse content were shared via Facebook applications.

Fully encrypting Facebook Messenger like its more-private counterpart will promote privacy among users, but will also pose risks in terms of sex trafficking and more child sex abuse situations.

McAdams claims to understand the need for privacy and Facebook's intended move to enact end-to-end encryption on the Facebook Messenger app, but asks Zuckerberg to consider his priorities in the change to the product.

The Future of Facebook Amid the Libra Cryptocurrency News?

Overall, Zuckerberg did not have many answers for a wide variety of on- and off-topic questions by the people of Congress about the Libra cryptocurrency news.

The Libra project is still highly hypothetical with no clear idea of functionality, so Zuckerberg's main stance was arguing the purpose and intention of the project.

He claims that Libra won't launch anywhere in the world unless all U.S. regulators approve, and that Facebook supports Libra delaying its response until it has fully addressed U.S. regulatory concerns.

Still, a portion of the Congressional committee still brought up the stance that Facebook, as a corporation, has simply grown too large, and it should be broken up.

Facebook's mission is to "connect the world," and despite the tough scrutiny of Congress's questioning, Zuckerberg was determined to be steadfast in his vision of a cryptocurrency intended to make a change and reduce the stark effects of income inequality internationally.

Published on: Oct 24, 2019
Like this column? Sign up to subscribe to email alerts and you'll never miss a post.
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.