PayPal is officially pulling out from Facebook’s Libra Association.
“PayPal has made the decision to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations,” PayPal said in a statement on Friday.
However, PayPal said it is still “supportive of Libra’s aspirations” and that it will continue to collaborate with Facebook in the future.
Libra is a permissioned blockchain digital currency proposed by social media giant Facebook. But the digital coin has come under the scrutiny of several regulators, ever since it was announced in June. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated that Libra raises “serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, financial stability”. The Fed formed a working group to investigate it. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, told CNBC in June about Facebook's Libra, “it’s very important for them to stop right now what they’re doing so that we can get a handle on this” and also said Congress would “move aggressively” to deal with it.
Facebook apparently tried to assuage regulatory concerns by stating that the company would not be have sole control over the currency. The Libra Association had been made up of 28 corporate backers, including Facebook, who are supposed to help govern Libra. All founding members were expected to invest a minimum of $10 million towards the association, according to Facebook’s initial announcement of the project. Those investments have not been made yet.
Paypal’s withdrawal comes close on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report (Wednesday) that hinted at Visa, Mastercard , and other financial partners getting apprehensive about the Libra project and "reconsidering" their involvement with it, amid scrutiny from government officials.