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Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Stripe, Mercado Pago abandon Facebook-led Libra Association

Libra Association [Public domain]

Mon, 14 Oct 2019, 04:04 am UTC

Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Stripe, and Mercado Pago have all followed the steps of PayPal, withdrawing their support from Facebook’s Libra Association.

Speaking to CoinDesk, a Mastercard representative confirmed that it has pulled off the association.

Mastercard has decided it will not become a member of the Libra Association at this time. We remain focused on our strategy and our own significant efforts to enable financial inclusion around the world. We believe there are potential benefits in such initiatives and will continue to monitor the Libra effort.”

A Visa spokesperson also confirmed that withdrawal, although the firm will continue to evaluate the platform.

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. Visa’s continued interest in Libra stems from our belief that well-regulated blockchain-based networks could extend the value of secure digital payments to a greater number of people and places, particularly in emerging and developing markets.”

Meanwhile, although eBay respects the vision of the Libra Association, a company representative told the Financial Times that it chose to focus on introducing a “managed payments experience” for its clients.

While believing that Libra has the potential, Stripe affirmed its departure. However, the payments firm will not totally close its doors, saying “we will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage.”

Mercado Pago’s representative also said the firm will re-evaluate Libra following a “greater clarity” on the project.

The decisions come ahead of a scheduled Libra Association Council meeting on Oct. 14 to sign the group’s charter. Despite the latest round of departures, Facebook said the Friday meeting will carry on as scheduled.

Meanwhile, David Marcus, who oversees the Libra project, cautioned “against reading the fate of Libra into this update,” he wrote in a Twitter post. He also thanked the companies for “sticking… out until the 11th hour.”

The backers abandoning the project follows after two lawmakers have urged the firms to “proceed with caution” over their involvement in the Libra project. They also appeared to threaten the companies to expect increased oversight from financial regulators in their non-blockchain businesses if they continue being a part of the organization.

Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is expected to appear before the House Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23 to defend the Libra cryptocurrency.

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