Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg struggled to convince Congress of the merits of the company’s plans for a cryptocurrency in light of all the other challenges the company has failed to solve.

From the start of Zuckerberg’s testimony to the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday, lawmakers made it clear that they weren’t just asking about the digital currency known as Libra, but about whether the 35-year-old executive should be trusted with the tremendous power his company has amassed over 2.7 billion global users of Facebook products.

Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters said Facebook should stop work on its cryptocurrency project until the company addresses a series of unrelated “deficiencies” in its social-media business.

“You have opened up a serious discussion about whether Facebook should be broken up,” Waters, a California Democrat, told Zuckerberg.

During the CEO’s appearance, many of Washington’s grievances about Facebook were laid bare. There were heated questions about Facebook’s refusal to fact-check political ads; accusations of rampant child exploitation on the platform; Facebook’s move to encryption and the impact that would have on the ability to obscure criminals; the company’s preparation for the 2020 presidential election; and what it’s doing to prevent “deepfakes,” or manipulated videos.

Zuckerberg vowed to try to address lawmakers’ concerns but also said he hoped to “address the risk of not innovating. I don’t know if Libra is going to work, but I believe in trying new things.” He also acknowledged that it has been “a challenging few years for Facebook.”

Zuckerberg is well aware of the skepticism the cryptocurrency plan faces, not least because of the missteps Facebook has made regarding protecting data privacy.

Waters has been one of Congress’s loudest critics of Facebook’s effort to create the digital token. When the social-media giant first announced its plans in June, she almost immediately demanded that the company halt development.

Government officials and central bankers in Europe have also raised concerns about how the project would protect users’ privacy and prevent criminals from using it to launder money. Zuckerberg reiterated that he has no intention of launching the cryptocurrency without approval from regulators.

Though he has made the promise before, Zuckerberg took it a step further on Wednesday, saying that Facebook could even be forced to leave the Libra Association entirely if the group decides to move forward with the currency without approval from U.S. regulators. It’s an unlikely scenario, but Zuckerberg’s suggestion that Facebook could abandon a project it started is meant to appease lawmakers who have pushed back aggressively on the cryptocurrency.

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