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US Rep Maxine Waters Pressures Meta To Disclose Its Plans Related To Blockchain
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US Rep Maxine Waters Pressures Meta To Disclose Its Plans Related To Blockchain

  • Meta is getting grilled by US Rep Maxine Waters over its crypto and blockchain ambitions.
  • House rep Maxine Waters sent a letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, questioning several new trademark filings for crypto trading, payments and wallet services. 

The United States House Financial Services Committee is pressuring Meta, the parent company of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, to disclose its plans related to blockchain and cryptocurrencies. 

The committee’s ranking member, Maxine Waters, sent a letter to Meta founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and operating chief Javier Olivan on January 22, citing five active cryptocurrency and blockchain-related trademark applications filed by the company in 2022.

Waters expressed concern that these trademark applications indicate Meta’s continued involvement in the digital assets ecosystem, despite the company’s previous statements to the committee that there is no ongoing digital assets work at Meta.

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Meta abandoned its plans for a payments crypto stablecoin called Diem (formerly Libra) in mid-2019 due to pressure from lawmakers. 

It also sold Diem to now-defunct Silvergate Bank in January 2022 for $200 million. The company’s plans to release a digital wallet called Novi (formerly Calibra) by 2020 also fizzled out.

The trademark filings cover various services for crypto and blockchain assets trading, exchange, payments, transfers, wallets, and the associated hardware and software infrastructure. 

Meta has received Notices of Allowance (NOAs) for each filing, indicating that the applications meet registration requirements. The company has six months to file a statement that it will use the trademark or request an extension.

Waters asked Meta how it will respond to the NOAs, whether it intends to pursue any Web3, crypto, or digital wallet projects, and if it plans to launch a crypto payments platform. 

She also inquired about Meta’s research into stablecoins, partnerships with stablecoin projects, and its exploration of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and crypto-related functions in its metaverse.

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