The biggest financial companies that Facebook recruited to launch a its payment network have abandoned the project. A week after PayPal announced plans to part ways with Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project, eBay, Stripe, Mastercard and Visa are also walking away.
The moves came after lawmakers, central bankers and regulators expressed deep concerns about the libra project.
Libra Losing Strength
While some of the companies left open the possibility of rejoining the network in the future, the loss of Visa and Mastercard is an especially deep for Libra. The credit and debit cards that run over their networks would have made it easier for consumers to buy the digital coins. The project now mostly hinges on smaller payments companies, telecommunications providers, venture-capital firms, e-commerce merchants and non-profits.
The original coalition of 28 corporate backers of the Libra cryptocurrency seems to be dwindling as lawmakers continue to question how it will impact sovereign currencies and how the project’s leaders can ensure consumers’ protection
This is a fairly massive hit for the project, with three flagship partners all bailing simultaneously. It all happens just days after reports that regulatory pressure behind the scenes was causing a number of members to reconsider their support.
Scheduled Hearing for Facebook
House Financial Services committee said Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg had agreed to testify in a one-man hearing titled “An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors.” That hearing is scheduled for Oct. 23.