Just one week after PayPal dropped out of the Facebook-led Libra project, four other founding members of the Libra Association—Mastercard, Visa, Stripe, and eBay—have also decided to defect, according to reports published in Bloomberg and in the Financial Times on Friday (October 11).
It is interesting that these four firms have all decided to drop today.
On Tuesday (October 8), two senior U.S. Senators—Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH)—wrote letters to the CEOs of Visa, Mastercard and Stripe in order to share their "deep concerns" about Libra and the Libra Association because important questions about the risks posed by this project "remain unanswered." They also wanted these companies to consider how would they be able to manage these risks before going ahead with this project given that Facebook has not yet proven to U.S. Congress or to financial regulators "that it is taking these risks seriously."
Also, apparently, on Monday (October 14), the Libra Association intends to hold a meeting of the founding members in Geneva, Switzerland, to ask them to formally commit to the project by signing a charter agreement.
An eBay spokesperson said via an emailed statement:
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.
Visa had this to say:
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 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.
As for Stripe, a company spokesperson made this comment:
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.
So far, Facebook has declined to comment.
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