Digital auction company eBay and payments firm Stripe have both pulled out of the Facebook-led Libra Association.
The Financial Times reported Friday that eBay and Stripe dropped out of the Libra cryptocurrency project, citing political pressure, following PayPal, which pulled its own support of the project last week.
An eBay spokesperson told the FT that while the company respects the Libra Association’s vision, it was instead choosing to focus on releasing a “managed payments experience” for its customers.
Similarly, a Stripe spokesperson told the company that:
“Stripe is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world. Libra has this potential. We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage.”
The Libra Association is scheduled to have its first official meeting next week, where the remaining 25 members – which include both Facebook and its subsidiary Calibra – are supposed to sign the group’s charter.
Facebook unveiled its vision for Libra in June 2019, announcing an ambitious project aimed at providing banking services to more than 1 billion individuals who currently lack access. However, the project saw immediate pushback from lawmakers worldwide, with German and French officials vowing to pass laws blocking its launch and U.S. Representative Maxine Waters calling for a moratorium on development until the project’s regulatory hurdles are cleared.
Most recently, U.S. Senators Brian Schatz and Sherrod Brown wrote identical letters to Stripe, Visa and Mastercard, warning of the “chilling” effects Libra could have on the global financial system and warning that participation in the project may result in increased regulatory scrutiny of their own businesses.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg image via Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock