What you need to know
- Facebook's Libra Association has lost four more of its founding members.
- This time around, Visa, Mastercard, eBay, and Stripe are pulling their support.
- A week prior, PayPal dropped out of the group.
The idea of a Facebook-lead cryptocurrency raised a lot of eyebrows when it was first announced in June, though support from a laundry list of well-established companies gave it a feeling of legitimacy it would have otherwise lacked. However, that initial support is quickly starting to fade away.
On October 4, PayPal announced that it was leaving Facebook's Libra Association to focus on its own business ventures. Now, reports from The Verge, Financial Times and Bloomberg reveal that Visa, Mastercard, eBay, and Stripe are also leaving the group.
While Mastercard has yet to offer any comment regarding the news, Visa, eBay, and Stripe have spoken out. Starting first with Visa:
Visa has decided not to join the Libra Association at this time. 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.
We highly respect the vision of the Libra Association. However, eBay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member. At this time, we are focused on rolling out eBay's managed payments experience for our customers.
As for Stripe's stance on things:
Stripe is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world. Libra has this potential. We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage.
Losing four of its founding members certainly doesn't bode well for Libra's future, especially considering that Facebook doesn't plan on launching it until sometime during the first half of 2020. On top of that, these announcements are coming out just a matter of days before Facebook holds its first meeting for the Libra Association on October 14.
Dante Disparte, Libra Association Policy Chief, responded to the news as well, saying:
We are focused on moving forward and continuing to build a strong association of some of the world's leading enterprises, social impact organizations and other stakeholders. We look forward to the inaugural Libra Association Council meeting in just 3 days and announcing the initial members of the Libra Association.
The Libra Association still has 21 members that have yet to leave (not including Facebook), but the fact that four companies have parted ways in just a week is anything but a good sign. Notable brands like Vodafone, Coinbase, and Spotify remain, but it doesn't seem unlikely that more departures could be announced in the coming weeks and months. Furthermore, with Mastercard and Visa now both out of the picture, Libra no longer has any support from a payment processor.