PayPal is first to back away from Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency

Big quote: “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,” said PayPal in a statement.

PayPal is the first company to officially retract its support for Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, as the company has made its exit from the Libra Association, the nonprofit organization of founding members that will govern the currency.

When Facebook announced its Libra cryptocurrency, it swiftly attracted the attention and scrutiny of lawmakers and regulators, citing concerns of privacy and anti-competitive behavior, just to name a few. Unsure what a form of currency from Facebook would look like, governing bodies set their sights on Libra and began putting it under the microscope.

The Libra Association was put together as a means to satisfy lawmakers’ fears that Facebook would have universal control over the currency. However, the widespread criticism and negativity surrounding the cryptocurrency before it’s even gotten off the ground has led to some founding members of the Libra Association reevaluating their involvement, with PayPal being the first to publicly bow out.

PayPal’s public desertion of the Libra Association isn’t a good sign for a project that’s already facing an uphill battle. The move might be just enough to sway other high profile early backers who are on the fence, which according to recent reports, could be Visa and Mastercard.

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