PayPal’s Libra exit adds to Facebook’s woes
Libra’s premise was that it will be controlled by a broad network of corporate partners.
Libra was designed to function as a cryptocurrency that could be freely traded inside Facebook’s properties, like Messenger and WhatsApp, and would be used for international exchange. At the time, Facebook said more than 27 corporate partners — including Visa, Mastercard and companies like Uber — had pledged to support the project.
“Pay-Pal has made the decision to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities,” a spokeswoman for PayPal, Amanda Coffee, wrote in an email. A Facebook spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.
PayPal’s decision is a blow to Facebook and its cryptocurrency ambitions, which are based on the premise that Libra will be controlled not by Facebook but by a broad network of corporate partners. The effort is the most far-reaching attempt by a mainstream company into the world of cryptocurrency, with Facebook executives having detailed plans for how Libra could become the foundation for a new financial system not controlled by today’s power brokers on Wall Street or central banks.
“It feels like it is time for a better system,” David Marcus, head of Facebook’s blockchain technology research, said in June. “This is something that could be a profound change for the entire world.” Yet the project encountered pitfalls almost immediately after it was announced.