What you need to know
- PayPal is officially leaving Facebook's Libra Association.
- The Libra Association still has 27 other members, including Visa, Uber, Spotify, and others.
- Facebook plans to launch its Libra cryptocurrency next year.
This past June, Facebook made headlines with its announcement to launch its own cryptocurrency in the first half of 2020. The cryptocurrency is called "Libra," and it's governed by the Libra Association that's made up of a bunch of different companies.
The Libra Association initially had 28 founding members, but on October 4, it lost one of them, with PayPal announcing its departure from the group.
PayPal hasn't given an exact reason for this decision, but the company did offer the following statement to The Verge:
We remain supportive of Libra's aspirations and look forward to continued dialogue on ways to work together in the future. Facebook has been a longstanding and valued strategic partner to PayPal, and we will continue to partner with and support Facebook in various capacities.
PayPal also notes that it's leaving the Libra Association so that it can "focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations."
Prior to this announcement, a report from the Financial Times indicated that PayPal was trying to distance itself from Libra for a couple of reasons — including the heavy scrutiny the cryptocurrency was facing by regulators and Facebook not putting enough attention/care towards said criticism.
While losing PayPal certainly doesn't bode well for Libra, there are still plenty of high-profile companies in the Libra Association — including the likes of Visa, Mastercard, Uber, Spotify, Vodafone, eBay, and others.
Libra's also still on schedule for a release in the first half of 2020, and it'll be interesting to see if any other companies follow in PayPal's footsteps between now and then.