Facebook Hires Former Aide to US Senator to Lobby on Libra

The company has spent $7.5 million this year to lobby in Washington DC.

Social media giant Facebook has hired Susan Zook, a former aide to US Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), to lobby for its ambitious cryptocurrency project Libra.

According to Politico, Zook, founder of Mason Street Consulting, will focus on lobbying the digital currency to Senate Republicans. Her previous experience of working with Senator Crapo will also help the social media company as he is the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, which held a hearing on data and privacy-related concerns of Libra last month.

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The official announcement of Facebook’s digital currency in June created a wave of concern among regulators and lawmakers around the world. The company faced two consecutive hearings in the United States last month – one by the Senate and the other by the House – with a possibility of another hearing in the United Kingdom.

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The company’s history with mishandling data has become a roadblock for it to launch its native digital currency.

Facebook has already spent $7.5 million on its Washington lobby this year and hired companies like Sternhell Group and the Cypress Group to push for Libra among lawmakers, according to Politico. It is also working with the law firm Davis Polk on the concerns over the upcoming cryptocurrency.

In its second-quarter earnings report, Facebook warned investors that its cryptocurrency project might never launch due to regulatory hurdles. The company already announced that it would not launch any of its crypto products in India, the largest market of its social media platforms, due to the hostility of local regulators.

The appointment of Zook is seen as a massive push by the social media giant to get approval from Washington. In June, the company also appointed Edward Bowles, a former lobbyist from Standard Chartered, to push for its public policies and regulatory affairs.

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