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UPDATE 1-U.S. Senate panel to examine Facebook digital currency project

Pete Schroeder

(Adds detail and context)

WASHINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Banking Committee will discuss Facebook Inc's proposed cryptocurrency at a July 16 hearing, the panel announced Wednesday.

The hearing will explore the project, dubbed Libra, as well as any data privacy considerations it may raise, the committee said. No witnesses have been announced yet, although someone from Facebook is expected to testify, according to a committee spokesperson.

The announcement comes one day after the social media giant announced it planned to launch a new global cryptocurrency, which immediately attracted attention from regulators across the globe, and skepticism from Washington.

Representative Maxine Waters, the Democrat who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said Tuesday she planned to similarly call Facebook to testify, and asked the company to halt the project while policymakers studied it.

In May, the leaders of the Senate Banking Committee wrote to Facebook seeking information on rumors of its cryptocurrency project, and how it would protect consumer information.

On Tuesday, a Facebook representative said the company looked forward to answering lawmaker questions. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the July 16 hearing.

(Reporting by Pete Schroeder; Additional reporting by Katie Paul in San Francisco; Editing by James Dalgleish and Lisa Shumaker)