Vodafone Quits Facebook Libra Association

The planned launch for the Libra digital asset has faced many issues amongst regulators, though the Libra Association has managed to secure over 20 backers in the beginning. Unfortunately, as changes are implemented, these backers seem to no longer support the project like they once did. Now, Vodafone is the latest to quit.

January 22, 2020, | AtoZ Markets – The Libra Association has been the subject of much turmoil since releasing the white paper for its digital currency, receiving criticism from lawmakers and regulars around the world. In spite of this, the association has pressed on, managing to initially secure 28 corporate backers to lead the way.

Vodafone becomes the latest big company to quit Facebook Libra association

Unfortunately, this group has already bid farewell to seven companies, and Vodafone has become the eighth to follow suit. A statement from the Libra Association confirmed this latest exit and said:

“We can confirm that Vodafone is no longer a member of the Libra Association. 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 Association is continuing the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system.”

AtoZMarkets has already reported on other backers to have already left the association. These companies include PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, eBay, Stripe, Booking Holdings, and Mercado Pago. Vodafone left on Tuesday, January 21, and will instead use their resources for M-Pesa. M-Pesa is a pre-existing digital payment service that Vodafone already uses, and it presently serves six regions in Africa.

Furthermore, Jerome Powell of the Federal Reserve shed some light on the concerns held by regulators, commenting that Libra introduces “serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, [and] financial stability.” A working group has since been created by Powell to investigate the concerns. At the time of writing, neither Facebook nor Vodafone has responded to requests for additional comments.

Central banks prepare for Libra countermeasures

While Facebook’s Libra project faces mounting criticisms, more countries are moving towards creating their own central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). On Tuesday, central banks from Canada, England, Switzerland, along with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and the European Central Bank (ECB) announced the formation of a CBDC think tank.

The coalition says it will exchange ideas on how to develop sovereign digital currencies for their respective nations. Australia’s central bank is also experimenting with a digital payment system running on a permissioned Ethereum blockchain. Central bank officials also say stablecoins pose threats to sovereign monetary policies making these CBDC efforts part of the collective Libra countermeasure.

Will more backers abandon the Libra ship? Let us know in the comments below.

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