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US Rep. Kevin McCarthy Praises Bitcoin while Criticizing Libra

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United States house minority leader Kevin McCarthy praised Bitcoin (BTC) while criticizing Facebook’s Libra stablecoin during an interview with CNBC published on July 16.

Kevin McCarthy said he likes bitcoin because of its decentralized nature and security. The minority leader praised the cryptocurrency’s underlying blockchain ledger technology for protecting users’ privacy, a feature that is otherwise missing across centrally-controlled financial services. For the same reasons, he criticized Facebook’s upcoming cryptocurrency project Calibra for being the polar opposite of bitcoin.

“When I’m on Facebook, I’m not the customer, I’m the product,” McCarthy told CNBC. “Facebook is free because they sell your data to make money. Now they want to get into the business, and they’re not Bitcoin, in this Libra. They’re not decentralized.”

‘I want to see decentralization because Libra concerns me that they’re going to control the market,’ he added.

“I like bitcoin … The real thing I like when it comes to bitcoin is I like blockchain because I like security. I want the government to start using blockchain,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy says.

He also explained that his concern over technology companies joining finance is anticompetitiveness. McCarthy believes that companies entering the space are looking to create a centralized system while tricking consumers into believing that it is decentralized to prevent others from participating in the market. He explained that companies have to pay $10 million to be allowed into the system:

“If you’re already a big, powerful company, that you can pay $10 million, you can enter this and you’re gonna take away all competition. So you can only use Uber, so you can only go to one certain bank, so you can only use Facebook.”

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His opinion is seemingly in stark contrast with the declarations of senator Pat Toomey, who said that he believes that Libra will be launched and the issues surrounding it resolved in another interview with CNBC published the same day.

When an interviewer asked Toomey whether he expects Libra to launch or not, Toomey said that he expects it will. He declared:

“I’ve got a gut feeling it probably will. I think there are legitimate concerns that can be addressed. […] I assume that all of the regulations that apply to any financial institution would apply there as well.”

Still, Toomey admits that regulators “really need to think through” the fact that digital currencies may in the future be a threat to the monopoly on currencies so far held by nation-states. Nonetheless, he also noted that we are not near such danger from realizing itself while admitting “who knows, adoption rates could be quite quick if there’s a real, major, breakthrough.”