Vodafone Group has become the latest company to quit Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, Libra.
Facebook announced in June last year that it would launch the digital currency in partnership with other members of the Libra association. But the project quickly ran into trouble with sceptical regulators around the world. In October 2019, the world’s biggest economies warned cryptocurrencies such as Libra pose a risk to the global financial system.
The Libra Association has seen an exodus of backers including Paypal and Mastercard amid regulatory scrutiny. Payments giants Mastercard and Visa pulled out of the Libra project in October, citing regulatory uncertainty. Paypal and eBay have also withdrawn from the scheme, which is backed by ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft.
“Vodafone Group has decided to withdraw from the Libra Association. We have said from the outset that Vodafone’s desire is to make a genuine contribution to extending financial inclusion. We remain fully committed to that goal and feel we can make the most contribution by focusing our efforts on (mobile payments platform) M-Pesa,” a Vodafone spokesperson said.
“Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient,” Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, said.