More partners ditch Facebook’s Libra crypto project

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More payments heavyweights have abandoned Facebook’s proposed Libra crypto-currency project.

Reuters reports that Facebook’s ambitious efforts to establish a global digital currency called Libra suffered severe setbacks on Friday, as major payment companies, including MasterCard and Visa, quit the group behind the project.

Two weeks ago, PayPal became the first member to leave the Libra Association, the entity managing the Facebook-led effort to build the digital currency.

In June, Facebook shared plans for Calibra, a newly-formed Facebook subsidiary, whose goal is to provide financial services that will let people access and participate in the Libra network.

The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology. The wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app, and Facebook expects to launch it next year.

The group behind the crypto-currency is the Libra Association, had 29 founding members, including some big names like Visa, MasterCard, Uber, Lyft, eBay and Spotify.

Market players recently told ITWeb that the Libra project had become too hot to handle for Facebook’s partners in the project.

Ever since announcing the Libra project, the initiative has been under intense scrutiny from regulators all around the world, with France and Germany declaring they will block the project in Europe.

After Facebook announced its Libra crypto-currency project, US federal lawmakers issued warnings to the social media platform, requesting the project be put on ice until lawmakers have had a chance to review it.

In July, US president Donald Trump slammed digital currencies like Libra and Bitcoin, saying he wasn’t a fan.

According to Reuters, Visa and MasterCard announced they would leave the association Friday afternoon, as did eBay, Stripe and Latin American payments company Mercado Pago.

In a statement released on Friday, eBay said it “respected” the Libra project.

“However, 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.”

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