The Democratic majority on the House Financial Services Committee unveiled a draft bill Monday aimed at getting big tech firms out of financial services (via Reuters). The bill appeared concerned with Facebook’s forthcoming Libra cryptocurrency.
Keep Big Tech Out of Finance
The Bill makes no bones about who and what it is targeting. Called “Keep Big Tech Out Of Finance Act,” the Act said:
A large platform utility may not establish, maintain, or operate a digital asset that is intended to be widely used as medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value, or any other similar function, as defined by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
The politicians targeted firms that make over $25 billion in annual revenue with the law. They proposed a $1 million per day fine for any firm that violates the rules.
Consequence for Apple
Clearly, this would cover Facebook. However, it is less clear if it would cover Apple, as the company moves further into financial services. Apple is moving into fintech with expansion over Apple Pay and the recent announcement of Apple Card. I do not see how, at this stage, any of those tools would qualify as a “medium of exchange, unit of account, store of value” or similar. As noted on Cult of Mac, Apple is not proposing launching a currency or anything resembling one. However, I have no doubt the company will be keeping on eye on how this develops.