The Libra Association has lost its biggest and arguably most important founding members, but that isn't quite the nail in the coffin for the Facebook-led digital currency project. It's unlikely to launch in 2020, as planned, and it may have to shift its strategy without the major payment processors on board, but it could still launch.
In recent weeks, PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, eBay, and South American payment platform Mercado Pago (whose parent company PayPal invested $750 million in this year) have announced that they were dropping out of Facebook's digital currency effort. They have said little about their departures but generally seem to have left the door open.
A Stripe spokesperson said it will "remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage," for example, and a Visa spokesperson cited the need for the Libra Association "to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations" as well as Visa's "continued interest" in it.
Uber, Lyft, Spotify, Visa, Coinbase, and VC heavyweight Andreessen Horowitz are among the remaining founding partners. More than half of the original 28 "founding members," whose so-called commitments appeared to be memorandums of understanding at best, have multiple connections to Facebook, like mutual current and former board members, investors, and executives.
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