Telecommunications Giant Vodafone Leaves the Libra Association

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Since the announcement of Facebook’s ambitious cryptocurrency project Libra last year, the social media company has faced a lot of scrutiny from regulators and politicians. This has caused many early backers, such as Mastercard and PayPal to exit the Libra Association, and as of recently, Vodafone has become the latest member to quit the project as well.

When Facebook announced its plan to launch a digital currency in June of 2019, the news quickly gained global attention. Regulators were skeptical about the cryptocurrency project despite the company’s assurances that the digital currency would be launched in partnership with members of Libra Association. Few months later, many notable economists around the world started claiming that the launch of cryptocurrencies such as Libra would be damaging to our current global financial system.

In light of recent news regarding Vodafone’s departure from the project, a spokesperson representing the company said that the company decided it would be in their best interest to withdraw from the Libra Association as it believes in making genuine contribution to spreading financial inclusion.

No further details regarding the company’s decision to leave the Association were disclosed; however, the company did share its project for the upcoming month related to a new payment platform.

Vodafone spokesperson further added in a press statement that the company is committed to the ultimate goal of the Association and that it believes that it can contribute the most to the cause by focusing its efforts on M-Pesa, a mobile transaction platform.

Head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, Dante Disparte, commented on the recent changes, claiming that although there will be changes over time in the makeup of members within the Libra Association, the governance and technology design of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project will ensure that the Libra transaction system will continue to remain strong.

Not Much of a Surprise

The news about Vodafone’s departure comes as no surprise since regulatory issues have been one of the main reasons for the exit of payment platform giants like Mastercard and Visa from the Libra Association in October of 2019. Since then, PayPal and eBay followed and withdrew from the Association as well.

The Libra Association has undergone many changes since its creation, but Facebook still believes that the cryptocurrency project will resolve its regulatory issues and continue on its way to launch a successful digital currency. Currently, it is still backed by transport service apps like Uber and Lyft.

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