Mastercard Exec Cites Regulatory Concerns for Leaving Libra Association

Michael LaVere
  • Mastercard Asia Pacific co-president Ari Sarker says the bank withdrew from libra over regulatory concerns.

  • Mastercard hoped to shape the digital currency's regulatory compliance by joining the Libra Association. .

A Mastercard executive says the financial institution withdrew from the Libra Association after realizing that “basic core tenets” of regulatory compliance were not being adhered to. 

Ari Sarker, co-president of Master Card Asia Pacific, appeared in an interview with Bloomberg Nov. 10 to discuss the company’s relationship with Facebook and the Libra Association. While Sarker says that Mastercard is partnering with a “number of player on a variety of fronts” in the blockchain sector, the company ultimately withdrew from the libra project following regulatory concerns. 

He said, 

I think the pullback from Libra was more determined by us in the manner that we are essentially a regulated entity where we work with a number of markets with supervision by central bank regulators and we’ve been very clear from day one that our partnership with libra was recognizing those obligations and recognizing that we have commitments across our regulatory frameworks and therefore stay true to that.

Sarker continued, saying that Mastercard felt libra was not adhering to its standard of regulatory compliance, 

The intention really was that being inside the tent would allow us an opportunity to shape some of those conversations. We’ve stepped back because we felt some of those basic core tenets were not being adhered to.

The Libra Association experienced a mass exodus following Mastercard’s withdrawal, including PayPal, eBay and Visa.

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