October 22, 2019
The immense pressure exerted by the government officials from both sides of the Atlantic seems to have taken a toll on the Libra Association, which saw several heavyweight partners abandon the project over the last couple of weeks. However, the Switzerland-based Facebook subsidiary is not about to lay their arms, as they have already signed the formal charter with the 21 initial members and made it clear that other interested organizations, the number of which goes up to 180 entities, are already lining up to take the place of those who chose to defect in order to avoid the possible scrutiny from regulators and politicians.
It appears that the subtle threats made by the US Senators Brian Schatz and Sherrod Brown in a public letter to the now-former Libra partners have had the necessary effect. A quick reminder, the two Senators that represent the Democratic party made an official plea to the CEOs of Visa, Mastercard, and Stripe, urging them to leave Libra at once or face the inevitable scrutiny from various government agencies. Earlier this month, PayPal has also made an exodus from the Libra Association, justifying it by the intention to devote resources to other fintech projects.
All in all, as many as 7 out of the initial 28 members decided to pull out from the project right on the eve of the official signing of the Libra Association charter. Visa, Mastercard, PayPay, Stripe, eBay, Booking Holdings, and Priceline.com were among the “turncoats.”
This has certainly been a huge blow for Libra, especially in the face of the upcoming hearings at the House Financial Service Committee, scheduled to take place on October 23, where Mark Zuckerberg will be dealing with an avalanche of questions and accusations concerning the allegedly negative impact of the announced cryptocurrency on the American, as well as the global, financial system.
However, the list of signers of the Libra Association Charter includes such business powerhouses as Uber, Vodafone, Coinbase, Anchorage, and Xapo, which thus became the founding members of the Libra Council, the governing body of the Association. The Council had immediately elected the board of directors, which consists of the representatives of Calibra, PayU, Andreessen Horowitz, and Xapo Holdings.
In the press release dedicated to the ceremony of charter signing, the head of Libra’s media relations informed that they have an abundance of candidates that might replace those 7 renegades. To be precise, the document states that the Facebook subsidiary had already received inquiries from more than 1,500 companies to join the project in the near future, while 180 of them have already passed the preliminary screening procedure to confirm their compliance with Libra’s philosophy and their vision of the project’s future. However, there have been no specifications provided with regards to the names of the companies that vouched to replace PayPal and the rest.
Nevertheless, it is evident that despite the unprecedented pressure from the authorities, Libra remains steadfast in its resolve to continue the development of the cryptocurrency, which is backed by a basket of fiat money.
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