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Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Facebook Marches On With Libra Despite Mass Withdrawals From Project

The launch of Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency has been dealt a blow by partners such as eBay, Stripe, Mastercard, Visa and Mercado Pago dropping out of the project.

Just a one week after PayPal announced its withdrawal as government regulators continue to scrutinize the plans, many fintech giants are also backing out.

However, the social media giant and its partners signalled that they’re still planning to move forward with plans to launch the new digital currency in 2020.

Twenty-one organizations, including Facebook, formally joined the Libra Association, which is overseeing the cryptocurrency.

Since the social network unveiled plans for Libra in June, seven of its partners have dropped out of the project. That includes payment companies such as PayPal, Visa and Mastercard, which analysts saw as a key part of whether Libra gains traction.

Lawmakers have also raised concerns that Libra could be abused for money laundering and other crimes.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to testify before the US House Committee on Financial Services on Oct. 23 about Libra and other topics. Facebook is also building a digital wallet called Calibra to store Libra.

Spotify, Uber and venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz are some of the partners that decided to stick with the project and officially joined the association during a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

The organizations signed the charter for the Libra Association, which also formed a council tasked with governance of the group.

The council appointed a board of directors that includes Calibra co-founder David Marcus, Andreessen Horowitz general partner Katie Haun, PayU general counsel Patrick Ellis, Kiva chief strategy officer Matthew Davie and Xapo CEO Wences Cesares.

The Libra Association said that more than 1,500 entities have expressed interest in joining the Libra project.

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