PayPal pulls out of Facebook's Libra Association

In blow to social media giant's international digital currency, US payments firm decides to focus on its own business.

    Increasing regulatory pressure appears to be threatening Facebook's plans for the Libra Association global currency [Aytac Unal/Anadolu]
    Increasing regulatory pressure appears to be threatening Facebook's plans for the Libra Association global currency [Aytac Unal/Anadolu]

    United States payments processor PayPal Holdings Inc said on Friday it is leaving the Libra Association, making it the first member to exit from the Facebook-led effort to build a global digital currency.

    PayPal said it would forgo any further participation in the group and would instead focus on its own core businesses.

    "We remain supportive of Libra's aspirations and look forward to continued dialogue on ways to work together in the future," PayPal said in a statement.

    Facebook Inc announced plans to launch the digital currency in June 2020 in partnership with other members of the Libra Association.

    But the project quickly ran into trouble with sceptical regulators around the world.

    The Reuters News Agency reported last week that Facebook could push back the launch of Libra to tackle regulatory concerns.

    Visa and Mastercard Inc are also reconsidering their involvement in Libra - as they do not want to attract regulatory scrutiny, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month.

    France and Germany last month pledged to block Libra from operating in Europe and promised to back the development of a public cryptocurrency instead.

    With the exit of PayPal, the Libra Association now has 28 members, including Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Spotify Technologies.

    "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 said in a tweet.

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency