Daniel S. Alter is a Shareholder in the New York, NY office of Murphy & McGonigle P.C. and is the WLF Legal Pulse’s Featured Expert Contributor, Legal & Regulatory Challenges for Digital Assets.

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In the past several weeks, cryptocurrency has engendered its greatest congressional response to date.  Although the reaction seems overwhelmingly negative, those who ascribe to the philosophy that any press is good press may nevertheless welcome the attention.  Finally, something has caught Congress’ serious attention.

On June 18, 2019, Facebook announced the creation of Calibra, a newly formed subsidiary that will provide wallet services for Libra, a Facebook-backed cryptocurrency planned to launch in 2020.  The Libra white paper outlines an initially “permissioned” (i.e., private) crypto-payments system that, at first, will be maintained by a group of 28 institutions.  This founding consortium will include major fintech and credit card companies, venture capital firms, and several nonprofit organizations.  As  self-described, the payment network will be “built on a secure, scalable, and reliable blockchain,” which is “backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value” and “governed by the independent Libra association.”