Payment firms back out in painful blow to Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra – The Guardian

Nearly every payment firm that initially agreed to join Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra has backed out, in a potentially fatal blow to the social network’s plan for a worldwide digital currency.

Visa and Mastercard said on Friday they would no longer participate in the Libra Association and Latin American payment system Mercado Pago announced it would back out as well. Several other large companies have announced their departures from Libra.

The payment processing company Stripe said it was stepping back, as well as the online auction company eBay.

PayPal was the first of Libra’s big partners to exit, announcing last week it would no longer be involved.

The departures come as Facebook faces intensifying international legislative scrutiny over the currency. Politicians on both sides of the spectrum have questioned the privacy issues raised with Facebook controlling a currency, as well as concerns about money laundering.

On Wednesday, the Bank of England said Facebook would have to meet the central bank’s highest standards in order to be allowed to launch in Britain. In July, members of the US Senate’s banking committee grilled Facebook executives over the proposed currency for hours, questioning the privacy and security issues surrounding an international currency run by the social media giant.

As the Libra’s backing slowly crumbles, Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is set to testify in front of Congress on 23 October.

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