Sign up to receive 5 free days of our daily summary for tech news.

Special Offer: Try out The Information today for only $10/month for your first 3 months. 
Crypto Facebook

Facebook’s Marcus in Spotlight with Libra Hearings

In February 2018—as rumors swirled about Facebook’s interest in supporting cryptocurrencies in its apps—one of the company’s top executives, David Marcus, told a gathering of venture capitalists in Los Angeles not to hold their breath about such a plan.  

Mr. Marcus, the former president of PayPal who had recently joined the board of the crypto exchange Coinbase, downplayed the consumer appeal of existing cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum, criticizing the costs and slowness of using them to facilitate payments. But he didn’t shut the door to Facebook eventually getting into the business, saying “maybe we’ll do something” once the crypto industry matured. His needle-threading allowed Mr. Marcus to postpone questions about privacy and other issues such an initiative would likely raise at a moment when public scrutiny of Facebook was intensifying. 

Mr. Marcus will finally have to answer those questions on Tuesday, when lawmakers in Washington, D.C., begin grilling him about Libra, the digital currency that Facebook finally unveiled last month. The Senate Banking and House Financial Services Committee hearings this week are expected to be tense, judging by the criticism the company’s plans have prompted from everyone from President Donald Trump to the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

What Is The Information?

Notes bb3aa5069205d702dda37fc71dc6f1c59df2310c4379304e9f1199f052af4884

Exclusive Articles

We broke it first. Receive original reporting you won't read anywhere else from the largest newsroom in tech.

Notebook b5103017ee163370a1667c9ce59ab0ef023875a17888105d26c185cadf31bb69

Daily news analysis

Every weeknight, we'll send you our reporters’ views on the day’s top tech news—distilled into one email.

Conference calls c9e664e8b96ee347d3e92b8309938f268422b9db98cfabca5c826fbb75054b23

Conference calls

Get access to our reporters and other top executives with monthly deep-dive calls into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles.

Events 499acedd16cffc41445edd76bfd302b2836c2a27419890f17130a6b10e2aa3df

Special Events

For no extra fee, get access to more than a dozen events yearly, from intimate dinners to larger gatherings with marquee speakers.

What else is included in my subscription?

Become a contributor

Share your views and find other subscribers by completing your profile. You’ll be listed in our contributor directory.

Slack community

Discuss topics and current events with our subscriber-only Slack group and share news about your company with other subscribers.

Annual Subscriber only benefits:

Org Charts

Access the only collection of tech company org charts. Our expanding database includes companies like Amazon, Snap, and Uber.

Crypto Newsletter

Our experts investigate the latest in the crypto world to keep you in-the-know about the movements of digital currencies.

Stay up to date on Silicon Valley

Sign up for Jessica Lessin’s (The Information’s CEO & Founder) free Saturday newsletter and also receive a complimentary week of our daily afternoon tech commentary email.

Already a subscriber? Log in here

Recent Articles

Facebook Policy

The Facebook Antagonist Inside the FTC

By Christopher Stern

Uber/Lyft

Food Delivery, Foreign Markets Weigh on Uber Results

By Amir Efrati

Startups Markets E-commerce

Postmates Ad Spending Surges Ahead of IPO

By Priya Anand

Crypto Startups Policy

Exchange Rules Spark Conflict

By Jon Victor

'He is by nature someone who is not going to piss people off,' one person who has worked with Mr. Marcus said.