Three founding members of the Libra Association, the cryptocurrency project announced by Facebook earlier this year, are considering withdrawing from the group following government and regulatory opposition.
A report in the Financial Times on Friday suggested that two – unnamed – members of the Association are discussing their “right next steps”. A further member – also unnamed – was reportedly concerned that its support for the project will raise regulatory scrutiny of its own business.
Among the 28 founding members are payments firms PayPal and Visa, internet marketplaces eBay and Booking Holdings, blockchain groups Coinbase and Xapo, and venture capitalists Andreessen Horowitz and Thrive Capital.
One of the partners told the FT:
Some of those conversations [about regulation] should have taken place before the launch, to understand how regulators would think about this, so there wasn’t so much pushback.
The backlash has not just been regulatory. Central banks are concerned about the impact on monetary policy, while governments have an obligation to protect their sovereign currencies. Indeed, such has been the furore over Libra that Facebook admitted on July 31 that the cryptoasset may never be launched.