Libra Association Moves Forward Despite Loss of Seven Important Member Organizations

Siamak Masnavi

On Monday (October 14), the Libra Association held an important meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in order to establish a formal governance structure. This article presents the highlights of this meeting. 

On June 18, when Facebook first officially introduced Libra, we were told that the Libra Association is an independent not-for-profit membership organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and that there were 28 founding members ("a group of diverse organizations from around the world").

However, ever since then, there has been heavy regulatory pressure on Facebook and the Libra Association, especially in Unites States, where Congress has been highly reluctant to trust Facebook with something as important as a new global digital currency.

This has resulted in seven of the initial 28 member organizations dropping out of the Facebook-led project over the past two weeks. As CryptoGlobe reported yesterday, the first founding member to quit was PayPal on October 4. Then, five more—Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe, and Mercado Pago—defected a week later. And then yesterday, we found out that Booking Holdings, the leader in online travel (owner and operator of some of the world's top travel websites, including Booking.com, Priceline.com, and Kayak.com), had became the seventh company to withdraw from the Libra Association.

Well, yesterday, the Libra Association did something to show the world that it might be down but not out. 

According to the Libra Association's press release, during a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, the remaining members of the Libra Association, one of which is Calibra (the subsidiary of Facebook that is building a wallet for Libra), "formally signed onto the Libra Association charter, formalized the Libra Association council, elected the Board of Directors, and appointed members of the Libra Association executive team."

These 21 organizations are the initial members of the Libra Council, which has the responsibility of governing the Libra Association.

The Libra Council has appointed a board of directors, the members of which are:

  • Matthew Davie (Kiva Microfunds);
  • Patrick Ellis (PayU);
  • Katie Haun (Andreessen Horowitz);
  • David Marcus (Calibra, Inc.); and
  • Wences Casares (Xapo Holdings Limited)

The board of directors then agreed on the initial staff for the Association:

  • Chief Operating Officer and (interim) Managing Director: Bertrand Perez
  • Head of Policy and Communications: Dante Disparte
  • Head of Business Development: Kurt Hemecker

The Libra Association says that over 1500 "entities" have expressed their interest in joining the Libra project, around 180 of which meet the "preliminary membership criteria".

Following yesterday's meeting, David Marcus, a co-creator of Libra and the Head of the Calibra project, had this to say on Twitter:

 

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pexels.com