PayPal abandons Facebook-backed Libra cryptocurrency group

Pioneering digital payments firm PayPal on Friday said it will no longer be part of an alliance intended to oversee the Facebook-backed Libra cryptocurrency, which has come under attack by regulators.

“PayPal has made the decision to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time,” the California-based company told AFP.

“We remain supportive of Libra’s aspirations and look forward to continued dialogue on ways to work together in the future.”

International outcry is mounting over Libra — with central banks, governments and regulators railing against Facebook’s upstart cryptocurrency and questions over how it would be regulated.

The social media giant unveiled plans in June for Libra — which will roll out in 2020 — to be backed by a basket of currency assets to avoid the wild swings of Bitcoin and other virtual units.

The nonprofit Libra Association, based in Geneva, will oversee the blockchain-based coin, maintaining a real-world asset reserve to keep its value stable.

 

Facebook envisioned Libra as a new global cryptocurrency, pledging to deliver a stable virtual money that lives on smartphones and could bring over a billion “unbanked” people into the financial system.

Hundreds of billions of dollars are transferred annually between migrants to friends and family in their home countries, and PayPal is a player in that sector.

Mastercard, Visa and other financial partners enlisted to oversee Facebook-backed cryptocurrency Libra are reported to be having second thoughts as regulators unleash ire on the project and dig for information from members of the association.