PayPal Withdrew From Libra to Focus on Its Roadmap and on Financial Inclusion

PayPal’s CEO Dan Schulman has revealed the online payments giant didn’t withdraw from the Libra cryptocurrency project over regulatory scrutiny, but to focus on its roadmap and financial inclusion.

During an interview with Fortune Schulman revealed that when Facebook’s head of the cryptocurrency project David Marcus approach the firm on Libra, he “framed it in ways that were appealing to us about financial inclusion.”

Schulman added that PayPal is “always exploring the next generation of technologies” to do things more efficiently, and as such was interested in knowing more about the project. The firm decided to abandon it, however, when it realized its resources could be better employed on its roadmap and what it can do to advance financial inclusion.

As we learned more about [Libra] and saw the amount of things that were still left to do and the amount of things we still had to do on our own roadmap outside of Libra, we said, “You know, we think if we focus on our own roadmap, we’d be able to advance financial inclusion faster than if we put all these resources against Libra.

He clarified, however, PayPal is “very interesting” in monitoring Libra and its developers, a adding there may be ways to work with it in the future. As CryptoGlobe reported PayPal was the first of several Libra Association members to abandon the project, at the time saying it was looking to advance its “existing mission and business priorities.”

At the time some analysts speculated the regulatory scrutiny Facebook started dealing with over the project ‘scared’ PayPal away, as its business relies on being on the regulators’ side. Schulman addressed this in the interview, saying PayPal has an “extremely robust relationship with every regulator out there.”

When asked about PayPal’s CFO John Rainey saying the company had teams working with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, Schulman revealed he wouldn’t like to add more to it over its potential competitive advantage. Per his words, it would be like sharing what PayPal’s next acquisition would be.

He added, however, PayPal sees potential in blockchain technology:

We think there’s a lot of promise to blockchain technology. It’s intriguing to us, but it really needs to do something that the traditional rails can’t do. (…) It’s about the applications on top of it, not necessarily using it to lower the cost by one-eighth of one eighth of a fraction.

Finally, the interview concluded with Fortune asking Schulman whether he personally owns any cryptocurrencies. He said that he does, only bitcoin.

Featured image via Pexels.