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Facebook’s Libra project loses inaugural partner PayPal

Decrypt Staff


Payments processing giant PayPal has officially dropped out of Facebook’s digital currency project, Libra, according to a report today by the Wall Street Journal.

"PayPal has made the decision to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations,” the company said in a statement.

PayPal snubs Facebook’s Libra meeting in Washington

The news follows reports that PayPal withdrew from a planned meeting in Washington on Thursday, according to the Financial Times, as well as reports from the Journal that Libra was in danger of losing several of its inaugural partners, including Visa and Mastercard.

It’s been a rocky start for Facebook’s Libra. The project has faced sharp criticism from both U.S. and foreign lawmakers and regulators, such as those in France and Germany, who have raised concerns regarding the effect of Libra could have on sovereign currencies.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently addressed such concerns in an interview with Nikkei Asian Review, and reportedly discussed the difficulty in launching Libra with Facebook staff as early as July.

Following PayPal's official withdrawal from the Facebook-led project, the Libra Association responded on Twitter with the following statement:

"We recognize that change is hard, and that each organization that started this journey will have to make its own assessment of risks and rewards of being committed to seeing through the change that Libra promises," the group said.

"We look forward to the first Libra Council meeting in 10 days and will be sharing updates following that, including details of the 1,500 entities that have indicated enthusiastic interest to participate."