US Lawmakers Grill Meta About Crypto Plans

A team of United States lawmakers led by democratic representative Maxine Waters is putting pressure on Meta’s upper management to open up about their plans regarding crypto and blockchain. 

Letter Demanding Clarity

Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Financial Services Committee, has penned a letter to Meta executives, expressing her concerns and demanding clarity regarding the company’s crypto-related endeavors.

Waters is seeking concrete answers from Meta regarding its plans for a potential crypto exchange. She demanded insights into whether the company intends to embark on a crypto exchange project and how it will be integrated into its existing platforms, including Facebook and Instagram. The Committee is keen on understanding Meta’s strategy for entering the digital assets market and ensuring transparency in its dealings.

Trademark Applications Raise Questions

Meta’s recent trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) have sparked concerns about the company’s intentions in the digital assets market.

Waters addressed these filings in her letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Javier Olivan, pointing out the apparent contradiction between the filings and Meta’s statements to the Committee. 

She wrote, 

“Despite these trademark applications, which indicate there are specific goods and services connected with digital asset work that Meta is doing, Meta staff asserted on October 12, 2023, in communications with Democratic Financial Services Committee (Committee) staff that there is no ongoing digital assets work at Meta.”

Trademark Filings and NOA

Meta’s trademark filings cover a range of services related to crypto and “blockchain assets,” including trading, exchange, payments, transfers, wallets, and associated hardware and software infrastructure. Each filing has received a Notice of Allowance (NOA) indicating that the applications meet all registration requirements. Meta now has until June 16 to file a statement to use the trademark.  If the company misses the deadline, it will have to request a further six-month extension to file. 

Key Questions From Waters

Waters’ letter to Meta poses crucial questions, seeking detailed responses from the tech giant. She inquired about Meta’s response to the NOAs, its intentions regarding Web3, crypto, or digital wallet projects, and whether the company plans to launch a crypto payments platform.

Additionally, Waters questioned the extent of Meta’s research into stablecoins and its potential partnerships with stablecoin projects. She sought insights into whether Meta is exploring the adoption of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and how its technology might facilitate crypto-related functions within its metaverse.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice. 

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