First, It Was PayPal; Now, Mastercard, Visa, and eBay Also Say Goodbye to Libra

Siamak Masnavi

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.

Mastercard stated:

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.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Over 5,000 Ugandan Citizens File Petitions Over Cryptocurrency Scam

Michael LaVere
  • Over 5,000 Ugandan citizens petitioned Parliament to issue a refund over funds lost in Dunamiscoins Resource Ltd. closure.
  • Cryptocurrency firm shuttered operation in late December, reportedly taking UGX 23 billion in client funds. 

Over 5,000 Ugandan citizens have petitioned Parliament following a high-profile scam by cryptocurrency firm Dunamiscoins Resource Ltd. 

According to a report by KMA Updates, more than 5,000 Ugandans submitted a petition seeking a refund over money invested in Dunamiscoins, which suddenly shuttered in December 2019. The fraudulent crypto firm billed itself as a privately owned company and claimed it was committed to providing complimentary crypto services to banks in order to benefit the low income and poor. 

In late 2019, Dunamiscoins’s bank account was suddenly frozen, with petitioners arguing that more than UGX 23 billion ($6.2 million) in client funds was locked in the firm. 

Arthur Asiimwe, de facto leader of the petitioners, told the Speaker and members of Parliament, 

[The] government licensed this company and gave it the go-ahead to work as a non-deposit taking financial institution; it carried out its duties as a microfinance company. They gave unrealistic bonuses.

Asiimwe and other petitioners argued that Dunamiscoins was operating as a microfinance company despite being registered as a non-deposit financial institution. While two of the company’s three directors have been arrested, Managing Director Susan Awoni remains at large. 

Asiimwe continued, 

We are not satisfied with what the Police report that they have failed to arrest the third director. We request that the Financial Intelligence Authority follows this up and trace where the money is and we are refunded.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com