US Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin testifies during a House Committee on Financial Services hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, May 22, 2019.
Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is scheduled to hold a news conference on cryptocurrencies at 2 p.m. ET, the department said Monday.
The press conference comes days after President Donald Trump said he was “not a fan” of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. He also suggested Facebook, which plans on launching a global cryptocurrency next year, would need a bank charter to do so.
Bitcoin dropped sharply on Monday following the president’s criticism on Twitter. The world’s first and most valuable digital currency fell roughly 10% to a low of $9,872 Monday.
Others in Washington have also called for more clarity on Facebook’s project. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last week that he had “serious concerns, ” including money laundering and consumer protection, and set up a working group within the central bank to examine it. Congress members from both political parties have also questioned Facebook’s motives. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, asked the tech giant to delay the project, which she said was a continuation of its “unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users.”
In June, Facebook announced that it would launch a cryptocurrency run by the nonprofit Switzerland-based Libra Association in 2020. The digital asset will not be controlled or fully run by Facebook, according to its white paper. Instead, it’s being run by a number other stakeholders that include Uber, Mastercard, Stripe, Visa, PayPal and Spotify. Still, Facebook has plans to profit from it through a new subsidiary, Calibra, that is building a digital wallet to store and exchange the cryptocurrency.