Wednesday, January 22, 2022

British Telecommunication Giant Vodafone Withdraws Its Support for Facebook’s Global Stablecoin Project Libra

The string of unpleasant news for Facebook’s stablecoin project continues as another big member of the consortium has left the Libra Association, the governing council for the Facebook-created global digital currency initiative and this time, it is British telecommunication giant Vodafone.

Several crypto news outlet reported the news on January 21. According to the reports, both Libra Association and Vodafone confirmed the news on Tuesday, January 22, that the company is no longer supporting cryptocurrency project.

Vodafone is 8th member who has withdrawn its support for the project. Before that, PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, digital auction company eBay, payments firm Stripe, Mercado Pago, and Booking Holdings has left the project even before the Libra Association was established in October of last year. Vodafone is the first company who left the project after the organization of Libra Association.

According to the reports, Vodafone said that they were not leaving the association because of regulatory concerns, that was the sparking point for the former existed companies especially for Visa who, at the time of existing, said that the did not want regulators to intervene their business.

Vodafone wants to dedicate its resources that previously was to be used for Libra its well-established and successful digital payment service M-Pesa. A spokesperson from Vodafone told  that the company is focused on bringing affordable financial services to the world’s poor and underserved population by focusing on M-Pesa for the moment.

The spokesperson stated:

We have said from the outset that Vodafone’s desire is to make a genuine contribution to extending financial inclusion. We remain fully committed to that goal.”

Dante Disparte, head of policy and communication with the Libra Association, talking about Vodafone’s decision, said that this would impact the project much because of Libra’s design. He commented:

Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient.”

The Libra Association was a group of more than 20 companies overseeing this cryptocurrency project LIBRA announced by Facebook on June 18, 2019. Now with the latest quit, the number of companies in the Libra Association has come down to 20.

The project was initially intended to launch in first half of 2020, but the intensive regulatory backlash and continues withdrawals of associates has reduced the Libra chances to launch this year to almost zero.

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