Visa, Mastercard shun Facebook's Libra digital currency plan

Paypal exited the Libra project a week ago

Now that PayPal, Stripe, Visa and Mastercard have left the Libra Association, there are only two remaining payment partners in Libra's stable - Mercado Pago and PayU - neither of which have major footprints in the U.S.

In a statement explaining their decision, eBay, Visa, and Stripe all said they respect and continue to have interest in Libra, but had chose to focus on other projects. "We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage", Stripe's spokesperson said.

"We look forward to the inaugural Libra Association Council meeting in just 3 days and announcing the initial members of the Libra Association", said Dante Disparte, head of policy and communication for the Libra Association, while confirming the exits.

In message on Twitter posted Friday evening, Marcus said "the pressure has been intense", and that he respects Visa and Mastercard's decision to "wait until there's regulatory clarity for Libra to proceed". That implied that all the behemoth US-based payment processors had distanced themselves from the Libra association. "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".

Facebook announced Libra this June and pointed to a whole slew of partners set to run nodes on the Libra blockchain.

Just this week, US Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Sherrod Brown of OH sent letters to the CEOs of Visa, Stripe, and Mastercard expressing "deep concerns" about Libra and warning them that their companies could face stricter regulatory scrutiny because of their involvement in the project.

The news comes just days after PayPal backed out of the project and follows months of scrutiny from regulators worldwide. Initially, there were 28 startups behind Libra's development, although they assured that the number would grow to close to 100 members as the year passed.

The Facebook CEO will be the sole witness at the hearing, which is entitled, "An Examination of Facebook and Its Impact on the Financial Services and Housing Sectors".

USA lawmakers expressed skepticism when Facebook discussed its plans for Libra during a July Senate hearing. Also, venture capital companies like Union Square Ventures and Andreessen continue to be involved, in addition to the crypto exchange platform Coinbase. Several other large companies have announced their departures from Libra.

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