Some of Libra’s high-profile backers are considering withdrawing their support for the Facebook project, according to the Financial Times. The paper claims that at least three early backers have been “privately discussing how to distance themselves from the venture” after the project garnered an unprecedented level of criticism from governments worldwide. 28 companies make up the Libra Association, including such corporate luminaries as Visa, Mastercard, Uber, and Spotify, with each making a non-binding investment pledge of $10 million.
Facebook in need of friends https://t.co/Ds5RAXmCye
— Financial Times (@FT) August 23, 2019
Crack in the Libra Association
Two of the association’s founding backers have concerns about the “regulatory spotlight” and are considering severing ties, according to the report, while another is said to be “worried about publicly supporting Libra” over fears they might attract unwanted attention from the agencies who oversee their own business. An individual from one of these companies was quoted as saying that it is “going to be difficult for partners who want to be seen as in compliance [with their own regulators] to be out there supporting [Libra]”, with the lack of public support also exasperating Facebook who feel they have been hung out to dry by their supposed supporters. In the words of one backer, “Facebook is tired of being the only people putting their neck out.”
Libra Looking Dead in the Water
Libra has indeed come under massive scrutiny since the whitepaper was first published in June, with governments around the world questioning the merits of a single corporation operating a global currency. This has been reflected in the media, with some outlets treating Libra more savagely than they have done Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general over the years. Some have suggested the negative reactions of governments are more out of fear of a loss of fiscal control in their own countries than genuine concern for citizens, which likely has more than just a little truth about it. The way things are going for Facebook right now though, it seems they needn’t worry, as the chances of Libra ever gracing your local supermarket are diminishing by the week.