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Facebook Poaches Ex-GOP Aide to Peddle Libra to Congress

Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:39 PM
P. H. Madore
Last Updated March 4, 2021 2:39 PM

Facebook has hired a former assistant to Republican Senator Mike Crapo as a lobbyist in their broader campaign to make Libra palatable to crypto skeptics on Capitol Hill.

Susan Stoner Zook stopped working as an aide to Crapo back in 2013, according to her LinkedIn profile. From there she worked in various consulting and lobbying positions.

Former Crapo Aide to Hawk Libra to Committee Chair and Colleagues

susan zook, facebook, libra
Susan Zook will be Facebook’s resident crypto peddler on Capitol Hill. | Source: LinkedIn

Regulators and legislators the world over have expressed serious fears as well as ignorance in the wake of Libra’s announcement.

Facebook Libra is intended to be a centralized cryptographic ledger administered by more than two dozen Silicon Valley heavyweights. The social media giant has received severe criticism as a result of its brazen plan to give its billions of users a way to transact without using the traditional banking system.

More than one billion people today are technically “unbanked,” however, many of those same people have smartphones with Facebook.

Facebook has for years made it part of its core mission to expand the reach of its platform as well as the internet more broadly, through such programs as the failed effort to offer “free” Internet to Indians .

Facebook Stokes Regulatory Fears

donald trump, libra, mark zuckerberg, facebook
Facebook has incurred the ire of both President Trump and Congress by seeking to launch a cryptocurrency. | Source: Tom Brenner/Getty/AFP (i), Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images / AFP (ii). Image Edited by CCN.com.

According to Politico , Zook will mainly focus on lobbying Republican lawmakers.

She has an in-road with the chairman of the Senate Banking Intelligence Committee, Mike Crapo.

In mid-July, Crapo expressed only moderate concern about the Facebook Libra project and offered praise for blockchain technology. Crapo reportedly called Facebook’s aims “commendable.”

In a statement more than a week later, the Idaho Republican said :

“It seems to me that digital technology innovations are inevitable, could be beneficial, and I believe that the U.S. should lead in developing these innovations and what the rules of the road should be. The digital currency and blockchain ecosystem is diverse, and care must be taken in determining what gaps may be present in the existing framework and developing a more comprehensive approach.”

Zook’s primary focus will be getting Crapo’s compatriots on board with the idea of a blockchain future, spearheaded by none other than Facebook.