‘I Like Bitcoin,’ Says House GOP Leader McCarthy while Criticizing Facebook’s Libra

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy praised Bitcoin and its underlying blockchain ledger technology for offering users privacy, especially given that big companies keep violating the privacy of its users – that’s probably why he’s not so optimistic about Libra.

Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Walt Disney Television / Flickr

Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Walt Disney Television / Flickr

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced that he likes the decentralized nature and the security of Bitcoin. However, it doesn’t seem he feels the same way about Libra. He said:

“I like Bitcoin and the security of the blockchain ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies. Is it where it needs to be? No, but the real thing I like when it comes to Bitcoin is blockchain, ‘cause I like the security. I want government to actually start using blockchain.”

He added that Bitcoin is still not where it needs to be, because there is always a risk of cryptocurrencies being used by criminals and money launderers.

Libra is, on the other hand, obviously not McCarthy’s piece of cake. He said:

“When I’m on Facebook, I’m not the customer, I’m the product. Facebook is free because they sell your data to make money. Now they want to get into the business, and they’re not Bitcoin, in this Libra. They’re not decentralized.”

He explained that his concern over technology companies joining finance is the fight against competitiveness. In his opinion, companies that are entering the crypto space are looking to create a centralized system while in the same time tricking consumers into believing that it is decentralized to prevent others from participating in the market.

He said companies have to pay $10 million to be allowed into the system:

“If you’re already a big, powerful company, that you can pay $10 million, you can enter this and you’re gonna take away all competition. So you can only use Uber, so you can only go to one certain bank, so you can only use Facebook.”

McCarthy also called for a balanced approach between the FINMA and FINCEN, believing that the US should not miss out on opportunities provided by the blockchain companies. He said:

“In the right “light touch” regulatory environment, decentralized networks can provide the transparent, secure platforms that respect an individual’s privacy and dignity.”

This was a bit different approach (even though still pro-crypto) than republican senator Pat Toomey who thinks that lawmakers should hear Facebook out before drawing any conclusions. Toomey said:

“I don’t want to presume in advance that we’ve got to prevent the development of some new innovation. I will seek to find Facebook’s motivation for launching Libra as the company has said that they are not purely motivated by profits.”

Just for reminder, yesterday, Facebook crypto chief David Marcus testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs during a hearing examining Facebook’s proposed digital currency Libra and data privacy considerations.

Toomey was one of the minority who actually decided to listen and hear what other side has to say. He concluded:

“It strikes me as wildly premature for us to come to the conclusion that we have to act now to prevent what could be a very constructive innovation in financial services. I think there are tremendous potential benefits in blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies … So I just think we should be exploring this, and considering the benefits as well as the risks.”

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