Vodafone to quit Facebook’s Libra project

Published: 22 January 2020 - 8:22 a.m.
By: CommsMEA staff writer

Vodafone has become the latest big named backer to pull out of Facebook’s Libra digital currency project.

A report by the BBC highlights increasing regulatory scrutiny as a key factor in the decision for Vodafone to pull out of the project.

"Vodafone Group has decided to withdraw from the Libra Association," a Vodafone spokesperson said. "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."

Vodafone’s decision to pull out of the project comes after Mastercard and Visa withdrew their backing for the project in October 2019.

Facebook suffered a serious blow to its aspirations to launch its own crypto currency in December, when Switzerland’s finance minister Ueli Maurer said that the country would be unable to approve the Libra product for launch in its current state.

Bloomberg quoted Ueli as saying that Project Libra “has failed” in its current form, as it had failed to obtain regulatory approval for its basket of digital currencies.

Facebook is still hopeful that it will succeed in launching Project Libra during the course of 2020.

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