Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Faces Exodus of Partners

on Oct12
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As part of that, the social network said, it had more than 27 corporate partners — including PayPal, Visa, Mastercard and companies like Uber — that had pledged to support the project. The partners are important because Libra will be controlled not by the social network but by a broad network of corporations, Facebook said.

Yet many world leaders, regulators and central bankers — including President Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — immediately criticized Libra and the idea of an unregulated currency. And they questioned whether Facebook, which is grappling with other regulatory issues around privacy and antitrust, should be heading up such an initiative.

In July, David Marcus, the Facebook executive leading Libra, faced two days of questioning in Congress about Libra. Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to testify at a congressional hearing about Libra on Oct. 23.

Facebook declined to comment on Friday and referred questions to the Libra Association, a Swiss organization that the company created to oversee the project.

The Libra Association is “focused on moving forward and continuing to build a strong association,” said Dante Disparte, its head of policy and communication. Even if the members change, he added, its underlying principles “will remain resilient.” The group plans to hold a meeting on Monday in Geneva to formalize its membership.

Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio on the Senate’s banking committee, applauded the withdrawals of some of Facebook’s partners from Libra.

“Large payment companies are wise to avoid legitimizing Facebook’s private, global currency,” Mr. Brown said. “Facebook is too big and too powerful, and it is unconscionable for financial companies to aid it in monopolizing our economic infrastructure. I trust others will see the wisdom of avoiding this ill-conceived undertaking.”



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