Home Business Facebook's Marcus Says He'd Accept 100% of His Pay in Libra – CoinDesk

Facebook's Marcus Says He'd Accept 100% of His Pay in Libra – CoinDesk

13 min read

Facebook’s blockchain lead David Marcus told lawmakers he would be willing to accept 100 percent of his salary in the social media giant’s proposed Libra cryptocurrency.

During a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the controversial project Tuesday, the ranking member of the panel, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), repeatedly asked Marcus if he trusted Libra enough to put skin in the game this way.

“You really think people should trust you with their hard-earned money, I think it’s delusional,” Brown said, after enumerating Facebook’s history of privacy abuses. He then posed the question: “Will you accept all of your compensation in that new currency?”

Marcus initially sidestepped the question, saying that Libra is “not designed as a substitute for bank accounts.” After Brown pressed him, the Facebook executive said he would “trust all of my assets in Libra – yes, I would.” 

Only after the lawmaker pressed him again on the specific question about salary did Marcus answer in the affirmative. 

‘What the hell does that mean?’

The hearing, which is expected to run into the early afternoon, was full of such exchanges in the first hour.

For example, when Marcus reiterated his talking point that Facebook would be only one of many companies involved in the Libra project, Brown shot back: “You know better than that, only Facebook [as a social media company] has access to 2 billion people.”

Several times during the hearing, Marcus said trust is “primordial.” At one point, Brown asked him, “What the hell does that mean that ‘trust is primordial’?”

“It means we need to continue to do better,” Marcus answered.

Aside from data privacy, the lawmakers grilled Marcus on consumer protection. Senator Kyrsten Lea Sinema of Arizona asked what hypothetically would happen if a resident of her state using a wallet developed in Spain got scammed by someone in Pakistan. Where could the consumer go for recourse?

“Americans will likely use an American-based wallet service,” Marcus replied, adding that if not, their rights to redress would depend on the provider’s terms and conditions.

Watch the entire hearing here:

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The Senate hearing was scheduled in the days after Libra was unveiled in June; the House Financial Services Committee will hold its own version tomorrow.

David Marcus image via Senate Banking Committee.

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