The Libra Association and its 28 founding members have been the subject of much controversy since the project was launched in June. Regulators and analysts around the world have questioned the audacity of the entity, which originally said that it was hoping to launch a global digital currency in January of 2020.
However, as the reported launch date grows closer, the pressure has begun to build. Last Wednesday, Bloomberg reported that four payments companies–Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, and Stripe Inc.– were considering backing out of the project.
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Then, on Thursday morning, the Financial Times reported that Paypal representatives did not show at a scheduled meeting for Libra participants.
Finally, on Friday, Bloomberg reported that Paypal was officially withdrawing from the project–a move that has sparked much discussion about the future of Libra.
Did Paypal make the right move? And what could its exodus from Libra mean for the project in the grand scheme of things?
The current head of Libra is the former president of Paypal
Sarah Frier, a tech reporter for Bloomberg based in San Francisco, pointed out on Twitter that the withdrawal may have particular significance due to the ties that Libra has with Paypal.
“Blow to Facebook, especially considering David Marcus, heading up Libra, used to be a PayPal exec,” she wrote. Indeed, Marcus served as the President of PayPal from April of 2012 to July of 2014; Bloomberg noted that Facebook’s blockchain team is also comprised of a number of former PayPal employees.
PayPal says it’s not going to be part of the Libra Association. Blow to Facebook, especially considering David Marcus, heading up Libra, used to be a PayPal exec.
“We remain supportive of Libra’s aspirations,” PayPal says in a statement
— Sarah Frier (@sarahfrier) October 4, 2019