Mastercard, Visa, others exit Facebook’s Libra project
(Reuters) – Facebook Inc’s (FB.O) efforts to establish a global digital currency called Libra suffered major setbacks on Friday, as EBay Inc (EBAY.O), Stripe Inc, Mastercard (MA.N) and Visa Inc (V.N) all said they were leaving a group of companies aiding the project.
The companies join PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) which exited the Libra Association just a week ago, as global regulators continue to air concerns about the project.
“Visa has decided not to join the Libra Association at this time,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue to evaluate and our ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations.”
The latest exodus could be particularly problematic, as it includes all major payments companies that were founding members of the project. Facebook announced plans to launch the digital currency in June 2020 in partnership with other Libra Association members.
Libra will press ahead with plans to formally charter the association, Dante Disparte, its head of policy and communication, said in a statement on Friday.
“We look forward to the inaugural Libra Association Council meeting in just three days and announcing the initial members of the Libra Association.”
Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg is expected to discuss the project when he testifies before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23.
France and Germany last month pledged to block Libra from operating in Europe and backed the development of a public cryptocurrency instead. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has cited serious privacy, money laundering, consumer protection and financial stability concerns that must be addressed before the project can advance.
Reporting by Munsif Vengattil and Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli, Daniel Wallis and Richard Chang