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Vodafone becomes latest company to quit the Libra Association

Yilun Cheng

British telecommunications company Vodafone has dropped out of the Libra Association, according to a report from CoinDesk.

The firm's move follows similar decisions by PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, among others, to withdraw from Facebook’s stablecoin project.

A Vodafone spokesperson said that the company has decided to focus on developing its own products to bring affordable financial services to the world's impoverished population, CoinDesk reported Tuesday.

When Facebook first launched its cryptocurrency project in June 2019, 28 companies joined forces to form the Libra Association, the de facto monetary authority tasked with overseeing the proposed digital currency. 

Since then, however, there has been significant regulatory backlash, and since its inception, PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Mercado Pago, eBay, Stripe and Booking Holdings – and now Vodafone – went on to depart the association.

“We have said from the outset that Vodafone’s desire is to make a genuine contribution to extending financial inclusion,” the spokesperson told CoinDesk. “We remain fully committed to that goal.”

The Libra Association confirmed Vodafone’s departure to CoinDesk. 

"Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient,” Dante Disparte, the group's head of policy and communication, was quoted as saying.

Companies' continuous withdrawal from the association has cast doubt on Libra's ability to launch this year. In fact, according to The Block’s recent survey, 67.9% of surveyed industry insiders believe Libra will not launch in 2020.