With major companies deciding to opt-out of the much anticipated Libra project, the road ahead for Facebook Inc seems to be an extremely tough one. The latest firm to back out of the Libra Association is Booking Holdings, a Norwalk-based eminent American firm operating several notable travel websites such as Booking.com, Agoda.com, Kayak.com, and Priceline.com.
The company confirmed its withdrawal from Facebook’s crypto project to CNBC on October 14, 2019, though it refrained from explaining the reason behind this decision.
As we already know, Booking Holdings is not the first firm to leave the Association. It was all started with PayPal that became the first company to leave the Libra Association at the beginning of this month. It continued even further when Libra Association witnessed an exodus by prominent organizations like Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, Mercado Pago, and eBay on Friday, last week.
As a consequence, the Libra project is now left without any major payment processing firms backing it. Hence, there is a fresh new obstacle for the project as there is no reliable global name for converting users’ currency into Libra and enabling transactions.
The project losing some of its initial founding members is believed to be because of the increasing regulatory concerns expressed by lawmakers and regulators from across the globe. From the United States to Europe, Libra has attracted immense scrutiny regarding the potential threat it would impose on global financial stability as well as users’ privacy. Regulators are also concerned that the project would facilitate money laundering.
Despite losing support from 7 big players, Libra seems to remain positive for the future. One of Libra’s spokespersons stated that the Association appreciates the support by Booking Holdings for the project’s mission and goals so far.
In the meantime, Libra Association went about its first meeting that was held in Switzerland’s Geneva on October 14, 2019. The agenda was to carve out an organization structure and appoint the board of directors. Facebook also said in the meeting that possibly 180 new members could fill in the space left empty by 7 firms. The association remains hopeful about reaching its goal of becoming a 100-member unit before the scheduled launch, which in all likelihood, may delay further considering the growing regulatory pushback.
The Libra Association presently has 21 members, including venture capital firms, non-profits, and blockchain companies. The list includes Vodafone, Uber, Lyft Inc, and Spotify.