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Friday, February 23, 2024

Meta has to justify itself because of crypto plans

A US representative is putting pressure on Meta over alleged crypto plans. Mark Zuckerberg should give her answers. What’s behind it?

Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters has addressed a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Javier Olivan, expressing concern and seeking answers regarding the company’s intentions with five trademark applications associated with digital assets. While the timing might seem surprising, considering the registrations date back to last year, Waters, an 85-year-old representative from California, has a long-standing reputation as a critic of Big Tech and has previously opposed Meta’s forays into the crypto market.

The five trademark applications submitted by Meta encompass various projects, including an online network service facilitating the exchange of digital currencies, the development of blockchain-related software, and cryptocurrency trading.

Waters’ letter seeks clarification on Meta’s plans for these projects and inquiries into whether the company intends to launch a payment platform with cryptocurrency support. The congresswoman did not specify a timeframe for Meta’s response.

Industry experts express skepticism about Zuckerberg’s renewed interest in the crypto space, given the challenges faced by previous endeavors. The Libra stablecoin plan in 2019 faced regulatory hurdles and was ultimately abandoned. The Diem project, a scaled-down version, also met a similar fate later on.

It’s worth noting that even if Meta secures trademark or patent approvals, it does not guarantee the actual implementation of the projects. Some observers speculate that Waters’ letter may serve as an indirect message not just to Meta but to Big Tech in general, possibly signaling a heightened scrutiny of their involvement in the cryptocurrency domain.

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