Following the news that PayPal, MasterCard, Visa, eBay, and Stripe pulled out of Facebook’s foray into the crypto asset space, Booking Holdings Inc. has also withdrawn from the Libra project. The company operates both the Kayak.com and Priceline.com travel websites.
Libra has faced intense regulatory scrutiny since it was first detailed this summer. Such pressures and now big name withdrawals have cast the project’s eventual launch into doubt.
Yet More Difficulties for Facebook’s “Crypto”
According to a report in Bloomberg, Booking Holdings Inc. is the latest in a growing list of big names withdrawing from the Libra project. The Connecticut-based travel company has pulled out of the so-called crypto asset’s development on the day the Libra Association met in Geneva to begin fleshing out the structure of the organisation.
The consortium of companies has thinned substantially since the 28 names were initially announced. This even prompted the newly-launched crypto asset futures exchange CoinFLEX to offer trading on whether or not the project would launch on time.
FIVE household names have pulled out of $LIBRA (Visa, Paypal, Stripe, Ebay, and Mastercard). I doubt they'll be the last.
Regulators are stonewalling it.
Zuck is testifying before Congress Oct. 23rd.
Now you can long/short its chance of even launching. https://t.co/LkIc1Kiswy
— The Crypto Dog? (@TheCryptoDog) October 11, 2019
However, the withdrawals of big name supporters from the Libra Association are far from the project’s only concerns. Regulatory pressures from around the globe have been mounting since the very day that Facebook detailed the “crypto” in June. It even struck a nerve with Donald Trump and the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The former stated on Twitter that Facebook would need to apply for a full banking licence to make good on its financial ambitions. Meanwhile, the latter called it a potential national security issue.
More recently, the G7 task force, set up to debate the potential implications of the digital currency, has issued a report that states that the project will not be allowed to launch until it is proven safe and secure. Even then, the document says that its launch is not a given. The task force includes high profile central bankers, representatives from the IMF, and members of the Financial Stability Board. The group is concerned that Libra will be used for nefarious purposes, including terrorist financing and money laundering.
Opinions on Libra from the crypto community has been generally optimistic since its launch. Many have argued that it will likely serve as a convenient on ramp for new users to get exposure to the likes of Bitcoin and other decentralised crypto assets. However, with the above issues plaguing the project right from the get go, whether such theories will ever be tested remains in doubt.
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