Elon Musk's potential move into stablecoin territory is stirring up bipartisan concern in Congress. This comes after the House Financial Services Committee voiced worries that the upcoming legislation could potentially allow large tech companies to issue their own stablecoins, thus increasing their influence over our lives.
One significant concern raised during the debate was the scenario where X, recently rebranded by Musk after its acquisition, could establish itself as a global payments provider through stablecoin issuance.
X, previously Twitter, was acquired by Musk last year and subsequently rebranded. It aims to expand beyond a microblogging platform to an all-encompassing communication and financial hub, as stated by the new CEO, Linda Yaccarino.
The changes proposed by Yaccarino and Musk for the platform are extensive, with aspirations to create a "global marketplace for ideas, goods, services, and opportunities." Musk's potential foray into stablecoin issuance further solidifies his vision of integrating financial operations into the platform.
Bipartisan apprehension was echoed by the committee's ranking Democrat, California’s Rep. Maxine Waters, and Republican Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina. They expressed concerns over the lack of explicit prohibition in the legislation that would prevent large tech companies like Twitter X or retail companies like Amazon from issuing their own stablecoins.
This comes after Meta, formerly Facebook, had to shelve its cryptocurrency project, Diem, due to policy-maker opposition. Launched as Libra in 2019, Diem was intended to serve as a stablecoin, but after several setbacks and continuous opposition from regulators, the project was eventually wound down earlier this year.
The potential for other large tech companies to issue their own stablecoins has reignited fears over the further dominance of such companies in our daily lives, and the case of Diem serves as a stark reminder of the complexity and regulatory challenges inherent in such undertakings.