PayPal has enough problems of its own, it seems — so much so that it’s decided not to part-take in Facebook’s Libra project after all.
PayPal confirmed that it was exiting the Libra Association within a day a Financial Times report that claimed a break-up was imminent.
As financial technology firms go, PayPal has relatively little blockchain exposure. The company has been moving money online much longer than Bitcoin, yet it’s done little to integrate blockchain networks.
What PayPal has done is to investigate the potential uses of cryptocurrency, even filing patents to that end.
It’s easy to see that PayPal, had it wanted to, could have been one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets in history if it had ever simply integrated the cryptocurrency. Doing so would have gone a long way toward adoption, as well, with PayPal’s many millions of users having a convenient means to try out crypto.
According to other outlets, Facebook’s trouble in congress drove PayPal’s decisionmaking process, not wanting unnecessary hassle with regulators.
A PayPal representative reportedly said:
“We remain supportive of Libra’s aspirations and look forward to continued dialogue on ways to work together in the future. Facebook has been a longstanding and valued strategic partner to PayPal, and we will continue to partner with and support Facebook in various capacities.”
The Libra Association, which will have its first big meeting in a matter of days, took the exit in stride. The Association’s Head of Policy, Dante Disparte, reportedly said:
“We recognize that change is hard and that 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. 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.”
Facebook executives have repeatedly been subjected to hearings in Congress, leading to speculation that regulators may push to ban the company from building financial products at all.