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This article was published on August 27, 2019


Facebook hires lobbying firm to help sweet talk cryptocurrency regulators

It needs all the help it can get

Facebook hires lobbying firm to help sweet talk cryptocurrency regulators
Matthew Beedham
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Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Facebook‘s “cryptocurrency” Libra is facing an ever growing mountain of regulatory challenges. It seems it needs a helping hand, as it’s hired a specialist firm to lobby Washington directly.

According to registration documents filed earlier this week, Facebook will be represented by Washington, DC-based FS Vector LLC, a firm that specializes in regulatory compliance and public policy.

The lead lobbyist named is John Collins, partner at FS Vector and formally the head of policy at Coinbase. Collins also lead US Congress‘ first exploration into digital currencies back in 2013 – so it’s likely he’ll know a thing or two about the hurdles that Facebook‘s Libra is facing.

The lobbying registration is thin on details. However, disclosure database website Pro Publica states that FS Vector will lobby on “issues related to blockchain policy.”

As part of the relationship FS Vector will have to file updates four times a year on the state of proceedings.

Given Facebook‘s track record of dealing with the regulatory challenges facing Libra, it’s hardly surprising that it’s called in help from those with a bit more experience.

In just the last week, it’s been reported that early backers and members of the Libra Association – the self-made cohort of companies that will oversee the delivery of the coin – are looking for ways to distance themselves from the project.

Earlier this year, David Marcus, head of Calibra at Facebook, was grilled by senators over the Big F’s plans for the digital currency. The word “trust” was mentioned 69 times in that hearing.

Perhaps that should give an indication into the general feeling towards Facebook‘s plans. Good luck to FS Vector.

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