Mastercard, Visa, eBay, and Stripe have all withdrawn their support for Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency. The move comes a week after PayPal decided to also withdraw its support claiming that it “wants to focus on its own work for the time being”.
It’s a massive blow to Facebook to lose both MasterCard and Visa since since the two companies have a duopoly over credit and debit cards payments in the Western world. It appears as though the regulatory concerns raised by governments in different corners of the world scared off these companies.
All of the firms that pulled out of the project gave virtually similar responses to that issued by PayPal; “they are supportive of Libra, they’ll continue to monitor its progress, but for the time being, they want to work on their own products”. Only Visa came out forthright and said that the reason for its withdrawal was because it wanted to see “the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations.”
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David Marcus, co-creator of Libra, has thanked Visa and Mastercard “for sticking it out until the 11th hour” despite the intense pressure. He said that he respected their decision to wait for regulatory clarity around Libra which could mean he’s open to them coming back on board with the project at a later date.