FinCEN Director Briefed US House of Rep Members on Libra’s Potential for Illegal Usage

Meeting O. Progress || JUNE 28, 2019

Some members of the United States House of Representative has been briefed by Kenneth Blanco, the Director of Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) on the potential of Libra  in money laundering and  other usage, according to a press release from a representative, Emanuel Cleaver II on June 27th 2019.

As per the release, "The briefing was held to discuss FinCEN’s use of AI and ML technology to detect illicit financial activity and how the bureau is working with regulators to encourage the use of these technologies among financial institutions".

The bipartisan briefing was led by Reps, Emanuel Cleaver II, Trey Hollingsworth, Bill Foster, and French Hill, all members of the Committee on Financial Services.

Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy, Rep. Cleaver, in his statement  said;

“With the evolution of virtual currencies and new marketplaces, nefarious actors are continuously adapting to find new ways to engage in illegal financial activity. [...] Now that we’re seeing a giant corporation like Facebook—which has already shown an inability to identify and impede these kinds of actors at an acceptable level—creating its own virtual currency called Libra, it cannot be understated the importance of Congress and financial transmitters to be proactive in utilizing the newest and most powerful technologies to ensure the financial system is not being used improperly.”

Rep Cleaver also expressed concern over the alleged damage caused by  foreigners to the democracy of US  through advertisement and messaging on Facebook, also pointing at measures that should be put in place before allowing facebook to freely carry on its millions to billions financial transaction. He said;

“We’ve seen the significant damage that foreign adversaries and bad actors have wrought on our democracy through Facebook’s platform, and that was simply through messaging and advertising,” “Before we allow such a giant corporation to begin processing millions to billions of financial transactions, we have to study these issues and ensure we have the tools and guardrails in place to deter terrorists, extremists, and/or enemies from utilizing such a platform to do harm to our nation.”

Also on the release, while commending the effort of FinCEN, Hollingsworth said;“I appreciated Director Blanco and his team for sharing the Bureau’s ongoing efforts to use AI/ML to combat money laundering and to collaborate with both financial institutions and technology providers to help strengthen our financial system,” 

The briefing is coming after  the Financial Services Committee scheduled hearings with Facebook for July 17 2019, which in turn followed Committee Chair Maxine Waters’ request for the suspension of Libra’s development on June 18th, 2019.

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