· Vodafone aims at shifting its resources from Libra to company-owned mobile payment platform, M-Pesa
· Despite disagreements with regulators, first version of Libra project could be launched this year
U.K. based telecom giant Vodafone has reportedly exited Facebook’s blockchain digital currency association – Libra. Reportedly, Vodafone is the eighth to leave Facebook’s digital currency project after companies like MasterCard, PayPal, Visa, Booking Holdings, Stripe and Mercado Pago.
In a statement by Libra Association, the entity confirmed Vodafone’s exit. The association, however, is constantly aiming at achieving transparent, safe and customer-friendly deployment of Libra payment technology, it stated. Facebook plans to unveil the first version of the Libra project, that is still in its development phase, later this year.
Apparently, Vodafone will shift any resources that were previously proposed for Libra to mobile-based money transfer and microfinance service provider established by Vodafone, called M-Pesa. Facebook introduced Libra in the month of June, the cryptocurrency has drawn major concerns from regulators and lawmakers from across the globe. Facebook Inc. has canceled the launch of its subsequent digital wallet called Calibra until Libra receives a nod from the U.S. regulators.
For the record, as per an initial announcement made by Facebook, Libra association was originally backed by 28 corporate entities who were meant to administer libra and its currency. A minimum of USD 10 million was anticipated in terms of investment from the founding members in order to fund the operation cost of the association and initiate an incentive program to support its adoption.
Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman was reportedly quoted stating that Libra as a platform raises severe concerns over money laundering, consumer protection, privacy, and financial stability. The federal group has set up a team to investigate the matter.
Despite prominent firms leaving the association, Facebook and 20 other partner firms formally joined the cryptocurrency project in October in Geneva. The associated reported that over 1,500 organizations have showcased their interest in joining the program.
However, the President and Finance Minister of Switzerland- Ueli Maurer expressed that the Libra platform has failed as a concept since the various forms of currencies deposited in this currency is not accepted by national banks.