Could it be that Libra never gets off the ground? Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency has run into major opposition and major companies are starting to abandon ship. It was reported last week that big time payment companies including Visa and MasterCard have dropped their support of Libra. That comes on the heels of PayPal backing out a couple of weeks ago. Perhaps Libra will not be the cryptocurrency that will challenge Bitcoin in the future.
Facebook has not announced any change in their plans to launch Libra next year, but the latest defections from the Libra Association have to be concerning. There were originally 29 founding members in the group including Visa and MasterCard and with those two heavyweights getting out, more companies may follow.
Facebook has been under scrutiny from the U.S. government and the United States is not the only country with opposition to Libra. France and Germany have already announced they will block Libra in Europe. Perhaps Facebook doesn’t have the power and pull they thought they had.
Another major company announced last week that they are pulling out as eBay said they “respected” Libra, but couldn’t remain a founding member. “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.” eBay said in their statement.
Not only did Visa, MasterCard, eBay and PayPal pull out, but another major processor Mercado Pago also withdrew. The recent defections are not a coincidence, as the Libra Association was set to hold their first official meeting on Monday. Companies that had any reservations wanted to withdraw their support before the first meeting.
Facebook is already in a difficult position. When they first announced Libra they had a ton of support and they said they expected the membership in the Libra Association to go up from the original number of 29 companies to more than 100. That has not happened, as the number has actually dropped, as there are now just 22 companies in the Libra Association.
Libra is also in trouble because of government hostility toward the project and now Facebook will have to figure out a way to design a system that is user friendly without the support of major processors like Visa and MasterCard. It is also worth remembering that Libra is not popular with those who use Bitcoin and Ethereum because Libra will be controlled by Facebook. The appeal of Bitcoin is that it is not controlled by any governing authority. Libra will be a step backwards and it does not appeal to the Bitcoin community.
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