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Mastercard, eBay, Stripe and Visa the Latest to Leave Libra Association

Mastercard, eBay, Stripe and Visa have joined PayPal and parted ways with Libra Association, the the group of companies working with Facebook to set up their cryptocurrency, Libra.

"Visa has decided not to join the Libra Association at this time," said a Visa spokesperson in a statement. "We 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."

Similarly, ebay said: "We highly respect the vision of the Libra Association; however, eBay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member."

In June this year Facebook announced it would launch the cryptocurrency in June 2020, with the Libra website announcing that: "Moving money around the world should be as easy and cheap as sending a text message. No matter where you live, what you do, or how much you earn ... Libra will be accessible to anyone with an entry-level smartphone and data connectivity."

However, this wasn't well-received by everyone and Germany and France, upon hearing the news, said they would block Libra. Instead, they announced their support for the development of a public cryptocurrency.

The Bank of England took a more cautious approach, with its governor, Mark Carney, stating an open mind should be kept about new money transfer technology, but "anything that works in this world will become instantly systemic and will have to be subject to the highest standards of regulation."

Two US Senators, Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), sent a letter to each of the CEOs of Visa, Stripe Mastercard before the companies announced they were pulling out of Libra. In it, they stated: "You should be concerned that any weaknesses in Facebook’s risk management systems will become weaknesses in your systems that you may not be able to effectively mitigate. These risks are not hypothetical ... 12 million of the 18.4 million reports of child sexual abuse photos and videos around the world last year were attributed to Facebook Messenger. It is chilling to think what could happen if Facebook combines encrypted messaging with embedded anonymous global payments via Libra."

Not one to be put off by the news of the departures, Dante Disparte, head of policy and communication for the Libra Association, announced: "We look forward to the inaugural Libra Association Council meeting (in Geneva on October 14) and announcing the initial members of the Libra Association. We are focused on moving forward and continuing to build a strong association of some of the world’s leading enterprises, social impact organizations and other stakeholders."

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