Booking.com owner becomes latest to drop Facebook’s Libra

International scrutiny has made social network’s cryptocurrency a contentious project

Members of the Libra project were due to meet in Geneva on Monday. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters

Members of the Libra project were due to meet in Geneva on Monday. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Illustration/Reuters

 

Booking Holdings, the company behind the travel websites Booking.com and Priceline.com, became the latest company to confirm that it is pulling out of Facebook’s libra cryptocurrency on Monday.

Booking, which was the only travel company to have signed up to Facebook’s Libra Association, did not give a reason for its departure. Its exit follows the withdrawal of Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe and Mercado Page from the social media network’s global payment plan on Friday.

Members of the libra project were due to meet in Geneva on Monday but international scrutiny, particularly in the EU, has made it a contentious project. On Sunday, the Financial Stability Board, an international body that monitors the global financial system, sent a letter to G20 finance ministers warning that digital currencies presented “a host of challenges” and that “possible regulatory gaps should be assessed and addressed as a matter of priority”.

As a global ecommerce business, Booking has been looking at ways to make use of developments in cryptocurrencies but a source close to Booking said that it was not a company that liked to be associated with controversy.

Booking is the largest seller of accommodation in the world. It reported revenues of $14.5 billion (€13.2bn) in 2018. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019