"I will certainly stop Facebook's part in it, if I feel Facebook can't be a part then it won't be", Zuckerberg told the House Committee.
Similarly, when lawmakers suggested that the "permissionless" system Facebook plans to create could encourage developers to build anonymous wallets-useful for money laundering-he vowed to ban them from the platform, while saying, again, that he couldn't speak for the other members of the Libra Association.
"I get that I'm not the ideal messenger for this right now", Zuckerberg said in his opening remarks.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has come up with a new angle to make his radical plan for an online currency more palatable to United States politicians- by playing on fears that China will beat out the U.S. as a global financial leader.
Facebook could withdraw from the Libra Association - the governing body of the eponymous stablecoin project - should it launch without approval from regulators in the United States.
The pushback has led some companies to flee the Libra Association that controls the digital currency.
Patrick McHenry, the top-ranking Republican on the committee, expressed disquiet that the Libra Association overseeing the project is based in Switzerland.
A few Democrats on the panel opted not to ask about Libra at all, focusing on charges that Facebook has allowed landlords and real estate brokers to systematically exclude minority groups from seeing ads for houses and apartments.
Zuckerberg, in written testimony prepared for the hearing, aimed to reassure lawmakers that his company won't try to evade financial regulators as it readies Libra. Should that plan change, and the Libra Association decides to press ahead without U.S. approval, then Facebook would leave the Libra Association: "We are not going to launch anything until [Libra] gets approval".
Aside from concerns about Libra, Charles Hayter, chief executive officer of CryptoCompare also pointed out that after an early upswing in the year that galvanized prices in the crypto sector, "we have seen weakening volumes and regulatory tightening from a number of jurisdictions". Zuckerberg, momentarily at a loss for words, noted that "it's a risky enterprise".
In another face-off, Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, pressed the CEO about the minority representation in Libra's projects. "I think this is a pretty simple yes or no".
And he will add that the Libra digital currency is meant to facilitate money transfers, not to compete with sovereign currencies or impact monetary policy.
In 2018, when Zuckerberg spent two days testifying before Congress on privacy, competition and a host of other issues, his notes cited competition from China as a reason against breaking up Facebook. Facebook is also facing criticism from several Democratic presidential candidates for refusing to ban political ads from candidates containing false information. She recently ran a fake political ad on Facebook taking aim at Zuckerberg to protest the company's policy of not fact-checking politicians' speech or ads in the same way it enlists outside parties to fact-check news stories and other posts.