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Facebook won't offer digital coin Libra until it receives 'appropriate approvals'

The head of the social network's Calibra subsidiary says the new cryptocurrency is meant for payments, not investment.

Facebook Libra Virtual Currency : Illustration

Facebook Libra still faces pushback from government officials. 

Chesnot / Getty Images

Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency won't be available until it gets the proper regulatory approvals, according to the head of the social network's Calibra subsidiary, which is providing financial services for the digital coin. David Marcus' comments come from prepared testimony ahead of his appearance in front of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs on Tuesday. 

"Facebook will not offer the Libra digital currency until we have fully addressed regulatory concerns and received appropriate approvals," Marcus wrote in his testimony released Monday. "Libra is a payment tool, not an investment."

Marcus also addresses Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's concerns over the new cryptocurrency saying he agrees that the review process for Libra needs to be "patient and thorough." Since its announcement, the Facebook crypto caused concerns for both US and European politicians who pointed to the company's privacy mishaps in recent years.  

The rest of Marcus' testimony consists of the duties of Calibra, which will also provide financial services for a digital wallet. He reiterates how the social media platform's cryptocurrency is used solely for transactions in apps such as Messenger, WhatsApp and a standalone app. 

The Libra Association -- an organization of companies and groups that will govern and act as a network for the cryptocurrency -- says its goals are in line with officials concerned about Libra.

"The Libra Association maintains that financial inclusion, regulatory harmony and consumer concerns are not competing objectives, but rather work in lockstep with the Association's goals of offering a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people," Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, said in an email statement Monday. "The lead up to the launch of Libra in 2020 builds in the time for conversations with regulators and policymakers around the world to take their questions into account."

Originally published on July 15, 11:30 a.m. PT.
Update, 12:59 p.m. PT: Adds Libra Association quote. 

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