Stripe and Ebay to exit Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency

Move follows PayPal pulling out of project last week

The building hosting Facebook’s Libra Networks  in Geneva. Photograph: Getty

The building hosting Facebook’s Libra Networks in Geneva. Photograph: Getty

 

Stripe and Ebay have become the second and third major companies in a week to drop out of Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency, following sustained political pressure and just days before the project’s backers are due to meet for their first board meeting.

Payments group Stripe said in a statement: “Stripe is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world. Libra has this potential. We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage.”

A company spokesperson for Ebay said: “We highly respect the vision of the Libra Association; however, Ebay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member. At this time, we are focused on rolling out Ebay’s managed payments experience for our customers.”

The move, a major blow to Facebook’s ambitions to shake up the global payments market, comes exactly a week after PayPal announced it was also pulling out. The decisions follow intense scrutiny from regulators and politicians, some of which have called for the project to be stopped altogether, citing money laundering concerns and worries about wider financial stability.

Testify

It also emerged this week that Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, is going to testify in front of Congress about the plans later this month.

The Libra alliance, a group largely made up of finance and technology companies, had each decided to put at least $10 million behind the scheme. Members are meeting in Geneva on Monday to nominate the board for the project. – Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2019