PayPal becomes first member to exit Facebooks Libra cryptocurrency group

Representations of virtual currency are displayed in front of the Libra

In a statement, Paypal said that the decision was made in order for the company to focus more on its business and services but said it would continue to support Facebook in the future. However, other members of the Libra Association, including Visa and Mastercard, have been reluctant to publicly endorse the project in recent weeks.

In a blow to Facebook's plan to launch its digital currency Libra, PayPal has announced to withdraw from the Libra Association - the 28-member non-profit organisation formed by the social networking giant for the global roll out next year.

Along with other huge names like Uber, Spotify, Visa, and Mastercard, PayPal, an worldwide online payment system, was primed to be a founding member of the regulatory body that would oversee Facebook's planned cryptocurrency-powered global payment network.

The Libra Association, based in Switzerland, was supposed to give the currency project a comfortable arm's length distance from Facebook, which wouldn't own Libra.

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The nonprofit Libra Association, based in Geneva, will oversee the blockchain-based coin, maintaining a real-world asset reserve to keep its value stable.

These sources also said that some of Libra's backers are fearful of attracting regulatory scrutiny and have declined Facebook's pleas to voice their support of the project in public. Some of those entities already have contracts in the works to join Libra, according to people familiar with the matter, though they'll have to wait until original partners sign the official charter later this month.

Earlier in the week, the Wall Street Journal reported that Visa and Mastercard are considering their involvement in the project over similar worries about the regulatory and political response. We look forward to the first Libra Council meeting in 10 days and will be sharing updates following that, including details of the 1,500 entities that have indicated enthusiastic interest to participate.

"Building (Libra) is a journey, not a destination. each organization that started this journey will have to make its own assessment of risks and rewards of being committed to seeing through the change that Libra promises", said Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for the Libra Association.

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