The latest comments by Visa Chairman and CEO Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. seem to suggest that the Geneva-based Libra Association might currently only have member: Calibra, which is a subsidiary of Facebook.
On June 18, Facebook announced that it is creating a new “low-volatility” cryptocurrency (a fully fiat-collateralized stablecoin) called Libra (LBR), built-on top of a permissioned but public blockchain called Libra Blockchain. It also said that one of its subsidiaries (called Calibra) is building a wallet (called Calibra) that will let you “save, send and spend Libra”.
The Libra Association is an independent not-for-profit membership organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Its role is “to evolve and scale the network and reserve and leads a social impact grant-making program that supports financial inclusion efforts worldwide.”
Its members are “a group of diverse organizations from around the world.” The 28 Founding Members “each run one of the validator nodes that form the network that operates the Libra Blockchain.”
According to Facebook, it is represented in the Libra Association by its subsidiary Calibra. On the day Libra was announced, Facebook’s VP Product for Blockchain, Kevin Weil, tweeted the list of other companies “who will become founding members of the Libra Association”:
And we're humbled to be joined by 27 other amazing organizations—global businesses, NGOs, and academic institutions—who will become founding members of the Libra Association, and play an equal role in governing Libra. pic.twitter.com/6jxdJoxZ9a
— Kevin Weil (@kevinweil) June 18, 2019
As you can see, Visa is one of the companies on Weil’s list. What many people (mistakenly) thought at the time was that all of these 27 other companies had already officially joined the Libra Association.
During this earnings call, Bryan C. Keane, an Analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities, asked if Libra is “a strategic partner for Visa or potential disruptive threat.”
“Bryan, the first thing I’d say I think it’s important to understand the facts here and not any of us get out ahead of ourselves. So we have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to join Libra. We’re one of – I think it’s 27 companies that have expressed that interest. So no one has yet officially joined.”
He then added:
“We’re in discussions and our ultimate decision to join will be determined by a number of factors, including obviously the ability of the association to satisfy all the requisite regulatory requirements. So, Bryan, in my estimation, it’s really, really early days and there’s just a tremendous amount to be finalized. But obviously, given that we’ve expressed interest, we actually believe we could be additive and helpful in the association.”
Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com