Sheryl Sandberg is in talks to testify on Facebook’s cryptocurrency libra as soon as next month

GP: Sheryl Sandberg Congress Testimony
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during a
Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Wednesday. Getty Images

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is in talks to testify on the company’s new cryptocurrency plans as soon as next month, a source familiar with the matter told CNBC.

Sandberg’s last official testimony on Capitol Hill was in September 2018 alongside Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The executives appeared in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee to discuss election-related abuse after reports revealed coordinated misinformation campaigns on their platforms around the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Facebook’s plans to introduce a new cryptocurrency called libra has once again riled up lawmakers, who have already questioned the project’s leader about how it would impact the value of the U.S. dollar and how consumers could trust Facebook with their money after a series of privacy scandals. Facebook would likely hope that testimony from Sandberg could ease fears and provide a strong signal to Congress that the company is taking the necessary precautions.

CNBC’s source confirmed Bloomberg’s report on the talks about Sandberg’s possible testimony. A representative from Sandberg’s team at Facebook declined to comment. The House Financial Services Committee did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The testimony would follow another recent D.C. visit from a top executive at Facebook: CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg met with some of his top critics on the Hill to discuss his thoughts on national privacy regulation and other topics, according to the lawmakers who met with him. The closed-door meetings seemed to be an attempt to show influential leaders in Washington that Facebook is taking them seriously while the company faces what’s now believed to be as many as four separate antitrust investigations, according to reports from multiple outlets.

Facebook has cautiously signaled it is planning to move forward with libra despite lawmakers’ concerns. The project’s lead, David Marcus, told a Swiss news outlet, “The goal is still to launch Libra next year,” Reuters reported last week.

When asked at a July testimony if Facebook would commit to refraining from moving forward with libra before appropriate regulations were implemented, Marcus said, “I committed to waiting for us to have all the appropriate regulatory approvals and have addressed all concerns before moving forward.”

“That’s not a commitment,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif.

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