Last year, in June, Facebook officially announced Libra after months of speculations about the project. Soon after the announcement, regulators quickly put it under the microscope. While France and Germany argued to ban it in the European Union, US, UK, and EU regulators along with central banks, have sought more information about Libra’s stability and its privacy implications.
Libra Association, which once had 28 co-founders, continues bleeding members months after it was formalised. The latest company to leave the project is the telecom giant Vodafone. Prior to Vodafone, companies like PayPal, eBay, Visa, Mastercard, and Booking.com have withdrawn from the Libra Association.
It is now the first company to exit after the association was formally organised in October 2019. Vodafone and Libra both have confirmed that the company is no longer part of the consortium. However, the reason isn’t regulatory issues but the company’s intend to focus on its own payment service.
Vodafone believes that the company can most effectively bring affordable financial services to the world’s poor by focusing on M-Pesa. However, the company is not burning bridges with Libra as Vodafone said that it wouldn’t rule out the possibility of “future cooperation.”
Libra is aiming to “build a financial ecosystem that can plug in and empower billions of people.” Libra and Calibra says that over 1.7 billion individuals worldwide remain closed off from financial services and it is hoping to solve this issue by making it easier for individuals to transfer funds from person to person.
Facebook had initially planned to launch Libra in the first half of 2020, however, there are now concerns regarding this timeline given that Mark Zukerberg has indicated that the launch date might be pushed back due to regulatory concerns.