Facebook Hires US Senator’s Former Aide to Lobby for Libra Cryptocurrency

Wolfie Zhao
Aug 6, 2019 at 06:00 UTC
Updated Aug 6, 2019 at 07:19 UTC
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Facebook has hired a former aide to the chairman of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee to lobby for its new Libra cryptocurrency project.

Politico reported on Monday the social media giant recruited Susan Zook of Mason Street Consulting, who previously assisted Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), to a team of lobbyists aiming to influence lawmakers on the Libra initiative. Zook told the publication she would work on lobbying Senate Republicans.

The news comes just weeks after the Senate Banking Committee held a hearing over Facebook’s controversial Libra cryptocurrency and raised questions about its privacy, data protection, and anti-money laundering issues. David Marcus, the firm’s blockchain lead, attended the hearing.

Facebook unveiled the long-anticipated Libra project in June intending to launch a cryptocurrency as a payment tool across global jurisdictions. But several financial regulators have since then raised regulatory concerns over the project’s ambition.

According to Politico’s report, Facebook has spent more than $7.5 million on lobbying efforts this year. In addition to hiring in-house lobbyists, the company is retaining over a dozen third-party lobbying firms to work on the Libra issue, including the Sternhell Group and the Cypress Group.

In June, Facebook reportedly hired Edward Bowles, who was a former senior bank lobbyist from Standard Chartered focusing on group public and regulatory affairs.

David Marcus image via Senate Banking Committee

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