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Zuckerberg to testify in Washington Oct. 24 as Libra partner calls for independence

Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is heading to Washington D.C. to testify before the House Financial Services Committee Oct. 23.

Meanwhile, Vodafone Group Plc, a founding member of the Libra Association that’s overseeing Facebo0k’s cryptocurrency, is calling for it to be independent of the social network.

Zuckerberg will be the sole witness at the hearing, which is titled “An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors.” How Facebook would affect the housing sector is not clear, but this is the same committee one of whose members compared Libra to the 9/11 attacks while pantomiming planes crashing into the World Trade Center.

The visit to Washington D.C. won’t be Zuckerberg’s first visit this year. He testified over two days in April about issues such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections and Facebook’s monopoly as a social media platform.

“Mark looks forward to testifying before the House Financial Services Committee and responding to lawmakers’ questions,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement.

The news comes days after PayPal Holdings Inc. became the first company to pull out of the Libra Association amid reports that other companies, including Mastercard Inc. and Visa Inc., were considering doing so as well.

One participant, Vodafone, is not withdrawing from the Libra Association, as least not yet, instead calling for it to be made completely independent of Facebook.

“It needs a chief executive for that business,” Vodafone CEO Nick Read told The Telegraph. “The sooner a chief executive is appointed to lead it going forward that is not [from] Facebook, then people will then understand the ambition of the entity itself.”

The current head of Libra, David Marcus, is a Facebook employee and has been at the center of the ongoing drama surrounding the cryptocurrency since it was announced in June. Read’s comments could possibly be seen as a criticism of Marcus’ performance so far.

Marcus’ comments such as taking to Twitter to say that Libra “needs committed members” in response to the rumors that some companies were preparing to walk was a possible dig at companies having second thoughts about their ongoing support for the Libra Association.

Whatever the outcome of both Vodafone’s push and Zuckerberg’s testimony, there is one thing for sure: There’s never a dull moment when it comes to Facebook’s attempt to bring a cryptocurrency to market.

Photo: Time/YouTube

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