Vodafone, one of the world’s largest telecommunications provider has announced that it is pulling out of the Libra cryptocurrency project. The move comes after VISA, a global payment provider along with MasterCard had also announced their separation from the controversial cryptocurrency project.
Announced in 2019, Libra project aimed to become the world’s biggest stablecoin project. Facebook also managed to get many payment companies and providers on the Libra panel shortly after announcing it in early 2019 including VISA, Mastercard, Paypal and others. The work behind the cryptocurrency project was reportedly kept secret by Facebook and little or no information regarding it was ever made public. What we did learn was that Facebook was intent on delivering a hybrid asset-backed cryptocurrency with US Dollar, Euro and Gold being reportedly considered for this purpose.
But, despite the initial interest from the world community, the project aims to have hit several snags in recent months. The US Congress has clamped down hard on the project and Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s long-time CEO had to personally appear before the house committees regarding the project. While he did offer some explanations, the legislative body was skeptical and announced close monitoring of the project before granting it a legal status. Many of the congressmen view Facebook as attempting to create private bank within the organization and thus trying to control the world’s finances through it.
Due to the various regulatory issues and challenges especially from the governments around the world, one big company after another abandoned the project after being disenchanted by the progress. Mastercard and VISA announced their exit from the project back in October 2019 and now, Europe’s biggest telecommunications company has announced its own departure as well.
According to a spokesperson of the Vodafone:
Vodafone Group has decided to withdraw from the Libra Association….., We have said from the outset that Vodafone’s desire is to make a genuine contribution to extending financial inclusion…., We remain fully committed to that goal and feel we can make the most contribution by focusing our efforts on [mobile payments platform] M-Pesa
Other notable partners including eBay and PayPal have also backed away from the project in a mass exodus that is raising questions about the future of the project. The whole promise of Libra was that it would be accepted by these big companies for instant global acceptance. Now that it is struggling on this front, it is easy to see that the project will face testing times in the future.
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