Visa, Mastercard, Ebay, and PayPal pull out of Facebook’s Upcoming Cryptocurrency

18 Octobre, 2019, 05:24 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • France pledged last month to block Libra from operating in Europe while the Bank of England laid out high hurdles it must meet before its launch

The Facebook Inc. executive responsible for the embattled Libra cryptocurrency said he doesn't fault companies that pulled out of the project, adding that he's optimistic more organizations will sign on despite intense opposition from politicians who seem to fear financial innovation.

"In recent days, we've seen some major players such as Visa, MasterCard and eBay withdraw from the Libra Association under what can only really be described as threatening correspondence from the authorities". The seven firms that pulled out of the project are eBay, PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, Stripe, Booking Holdings, and online marketplace MercadoLibre.

Facebook, which is heading up the project, aims to launch the currency next year, by which time it hopes to have 100 members onboard.

A draft report from the Group of Seven (G7) nations - France, the U.S., Japan, Canada, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom - has said that no stablecoin project, including Facebook's Libra, can go ahead until it is proven safe and secure.

Libra lost its last global payments backers on October 11, when Mastercard Inc. and Visa Inc. abandoned the Geneva-based Libra Association. The Libra Association confirmed Friday that the companies would no longer be founding members, but said it would continue building an alliance of businesses, social-good organisations, and others to implement the cryptocurrency. But instead the list has shrunk, after more of its initial backers walked away amid swelling criticism from regulators around the world. The Libra Foundation now has 21 founding members.

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The G7 also warn that stablecoins could ultimately lead to the stifling of competition among other cryptocurrency providers, with the potential threat to the global financial system coming as a result of a sudden loss in confidence in the currency. Of course, it's not great news in the short term, but in a way it's liberating.

The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology. This in turn has strengthened the scrutiny of Libra, raising concerns not only of financial regulators, but also of privacy and competition authorities.

On Monday, the Libra Association claimed that 1,500 organizations have expressed interest in joining. It was all started with PayPal that became the first company to leave the Libra Association at the beginning of this month.

Good news certainly appears to be in short supply right now - and it will keep going this way until Facebook can provide answers on the transparency and regulatory front.

The Congressman argued that the Congressional hearings committed to Libra this July had increased the pressure Facebook is already under, adding that "a lot of the questions weren't even about Libra".

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