Cracks in the Libra Foundation

Some time ago, we spoke about Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency.

We spoke of it here:

Facebook and Libra

Recently, we learned that PayPal has abandoned ship as one of the 28 founding Libra Association members. Sort of caught folks by surprise.

They didn’t give a reason, but mumbled along the lines of this:

Uhhh, ummm, we have decided “to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations.”

The Financial Times said that PayPal was concerned about the regulatory lightning Libra seems to be attracting.

Chap named Dante Disparte, the Libra Association’s Head of Policy and Communications, speaking from the Geneva, Switzerland headquarters had this to say:

“Building a modern, low-friction, high-security payment network that can empower billions of financially underserved people is a journey, not a destination. This journey to build a generational payment network like the Libra project is not an easy path. 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. We look forward to the first Libra Council meeting in 10 days and will be sharing updates following that, including details of the 1,500 entities that have indicated enthusiastic interest to participate.”

Later that same night — after a couple of drinks? — Dante went on to say,

“It requires a certain boldness and fortitude to take on an endeavor as ambitious as Libra — a generational opportunity to get things right and improve financial inclusion. The journey will be long and challenging. The type of change that will reconfigure the financial system to be tilted towards people, not the institutions serving them, will be hard. Commitment to that mission is more important to us than anything else. We’re better off knowing about this lack of commitment now, rather than later.”

Wow, somebody didn’t like the PayPal move, eh? Don’t you love it when big business fights like a couple of love struck teenagers? Cat fight!

Look, losing one team member, even a big one like PayPal, is not a fatal blow. But, there has been reportage issuing forth from none other than the Wall Street Journal that Mastercard, Visa, and Stripe are all considering taking a hike over money laundering concerns.

In the blog post I did above earlier this year, I said I didn’t think it likely that Libra would meet its self-imposed spring 2020 deadline for launch. I thought it was way too optimistic.

That was also before Senator Elizabeth Warren started calling for the breakup of Facebook on the campaign hustings. BTW, let me the first to tell you, Indian Princess Paleface is getting the nomination.

So, I don’t see this as a good development for Libra, but who knows?

No way they make that launch date. If they lose Mastercard, Visa, Stripe the deal is OFF.

Hey, go read the rest of that blog post above.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Be good, y’all.