5 of Libra’s 6 Remaining Payments Firms Have Pulled out

In another kick to the shin for Facebook’s proposed cryptocurrency, five of its backers have decided to drop out of the campaign.

According to The Block, Mercado Pago, Visa, eBay, Stripe, and Mastercard are the latest companies to leave the stablecoin project. That leaves PayU, a Dutch e-payments company, as the only remaining payments firm in the association.

An eBay spokesperson told The Block that while they “highly respect the vision of the Libra Association,” the company “has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member.” The firm, he said, will focus on “rolling out eBay’s managed payments experience for our customers.”

A Visa spokesperson meanwhile said that the payments giant “decided not to join the Libra Association at this time,” adding that they “will continue to evaluate and our ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations.”

That said, Visa remains positive on the proposed system, with the spokesperson going on to say that “Visa’s continued interest in Libra stems from our belief that well-regulated blockchain-based networks could extend the value of secure digital payments to a greater number of people and places, particularly in emerging and developing markets.”

Stripe was similarly supportive of Libra, telling the Financial Times that though they did decide to drop out, “Stripe is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world,” and “Libra has this potential.”

“We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage,” Stripe said.

The five firms’ exit comes shortly after two U.S. Senators warned Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe of the potential risks Libra poses, including to the firms themselves.

“If you take this on,” the senators said, “you can expect a high level of scrutiny from regulators not only on Libra-related payments activities, but on all payment activities.”

PayPal, the San Jose-based payments giant, was the first to withdraw from the project. The company decided to “forgo further participation” following increased scrutiny from regulators.

Photo: Alpari Org