Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Kenneth Blanco briefed several members of the United States House on the potential for Libra’s use in money laundering, illicit financing, and other illegal activities, according to a press release from Representative Emanuel Cleaver II.
Leading the meeting were Reps. Cleaver, Trey Hollingsworth, Bill Foster, and French Hill, all members of the Committee on Financial Services. Rep. Cleaver, chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development, and Monetary Policy, said in his statement:
“With the evolution of virtual currencies and new marketplaces, nefarious actors are continuously adapting to find new ways to engage in illegal financial activity. […] Now that we’re seeing a giant corporation like Facebook—which has already shown an inability to identify and impede these kinds of actors at an acceptable level—creating its own virtual currency called Libra, it cannot be understated the importance of Congress and financial transmitters to be proactive in utilizing the newest and most powerful technologies to ensure the financial system is not being used improperly.”
Blanco reportedly outlined current research into artificial intelligence and machine learning and their use in regulating cryptocurrencies.
Rep. Cleaver’s questioning was largely informed by concern over Facebook’s role in the 2016 US presidential elections, as well as alleged use of cryptocurrencies by Russian agents to fund election interference. Cleaver continued:
“We’ve seen the significant damage that foreign adversaries and bad actors have wrought on our democracy through Facebook’s platform, and that was simply through messaging and advertising.”