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Pelosi: Facebook’s behavior is ‘shameful’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi conducts her weekly news conference in the Capitol Visitor Center on January 9, 2020. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The Year in Fintech
Fintech Beat podcast, Ep. 33

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on October 24, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Rules, privacy issues loom for fintech industry in 2020
Advocates foresee sparse congressional activity for 2020

Facebook changed the fintech industry's focus this year when the social media giant announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency called Libra. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)

The nascent financial technology industry started the year faintly optimistic that the 116th Congress would pass bills in its favor. But as 2019 comes to an end without legislation, the industry isn’t even expecting action in 2020. And for that, they’re feeling relieved, not disappointed.

Facebook Inc.’s midyear announcement that it planned to launch a cryptocurrency, Libra, upended the industry’s focus, tilting the legislative strategy from pressing hard for beneficial bills to staying clear of measures aimed at checking the social media giant’s ambitions to transform commerce.

Zuckerberg threatened with Facebook breakup
At hearing, lawmakers press founder and CEO over Libra cryptocurrency plan

Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify at House Financial Services hearing on its cryptocurrency proposal. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Facebook has ‘a lot of work to do’ Zuckerberg tells committee

The view Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Facebook, will have during the House Financial Services hearing intended to examine the impacts of Facebook on the financial services and housing sectors on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Mark Zuckerberg, the chairman and chief executive officer of Facebook, told a House Committee on Wednesday the company has faced “a challenging few years” but argued plans to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra would have a positive impact for society.

Watch: King calls principles ‘timeless’

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, attends a rally with Angel Families on the East Front of the Capitol, to highlight crimes committed by illegal immigrants in the U.S., on September 7, 2018. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

How the Bank of England is keeping pace with the surge in fintech
Fintech Beat podcast, Episode 12

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Rep. Ilhan Omar and ‘squad’ school House Democrats in social competition
The Minnesota Democrat is the first freshman to win ‘Overall MVP’ in the three-week internal contest

Rep. Ilhan Omar won House Democrats’ 2019 Member Online All-Star Competition. The results couldn’t have come as a surprise. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Ilhan Omar stole the social spotlight in House Democrats’ 10th annual Member Online All-Star Competition. The Minnesota Democrat is the first freshman to win the overall popularity contest, cleaning up with nearly 150,000 new followers.

Following oh so closely behind? The rest of Omar’s “squad,” of course: freshman Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who rounded out the top five, along with Texas Rep. Joaquin Castro.

Facebook’s cryptocurrency hearing, explained
Fintech Beat podcast, Episode 11

David Marcus, head of Facebook's Calibra digital wallet service, testifies during the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee hearing on "Examining Facebook's Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations" on Tuesday, July 16, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

No issue has generated more concern about Facebook’s Libra than the potential for it to be abused as a tool to finance terrorism or launder money.

In this episode, Fintech Beat talks with data and analytics firm Chainalysis about international regulatory efforts, so-called clustering and blockchain forensics.

Lawmakers hint at regulatory models for Facebook cryptocurrency
Libra: ‘Which is it, fish or fowl?’

“This looks exactly like an exchange-traded fund,” said Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., (File photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House members suggested Wednesday that Facebook Inc.‘s proposed cryptocurrency could be deemed an exchange-traded fund, a currency or a commodity, all of which could require some degree of regulatory oversight.

“What we’re struggling with is: What are you?” said Democratic Colorado Rep. Ed Perlmutter summing up a four-hour House Financial Services Committee grilling of a company executive about the proposed cryptocurrency known as Libra.