PayPal has reportedly withdrawn support for Facebook’s Libra crypto asset project.
The payments giant had joined the nonprofit Libra Association in June 2019, one of 28 members tasked with overseeing the development of the controversial project and its eventual launch next year.
While PayPal was reportedly growing increasingly concerned about the widespread backlash against the digital asset that has the potential to harness Facebook’s network of over two billion users, the company cited no specific reason for its departure.
According to a statement given to The Verge, PayPal remains supportive of Facebook as a strategic partner.
“We remain supportive of Libra’s aspirations and look forward to continued dialogue on ways to work together in the future. Facebook has been a longstanding and valued strategic partner to PayPal, and we will continue to partner with and support Facebook in various capacities.”
Facebook is moving forward. Dante Disparte, the Libra Association’s head of policy and communications, says the organization aims to complete its mission of delivering a global platform to help move money around the globe as easily as email.
“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.”
The Libra Association appears to be more resolute than ever, releasing its first roadmap on Wednesday, stating,
“We continue to complete design work for all priority features. We are making good progress implementing features like Full Nodes. We’re working to define node reconfiguration specification will work prior to finalizing the Libra Protocol definition.”
Dismissing PayPal’s loss, Disparte notes that guiding the revolutionary project is not an easy role.
“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.”