Tech

Vodafone the latest partner to leave Facebook's Libra digital currency coalition

Key Points
  • Telecommunications operator Vodafone has left Facebook's Libra Association, the group confirmed on Tuesday.
  • The British company is the eighth to abandon Facebook's digital currency project, joining the likes of Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, eBay, Stripe, Booking Holdings and Mercado Pago.
David Marcus, CEO of Facebook's Calibra, testifies to the House Financial Services Committee hearing on "Examining Facebook's Proposed Cryptocurrency and Its Impact on Consumers, Investors, and the American Financial System" on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 17, 2019.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters

Telecommunications operator Vodafone has left Facebook's Libra Association, the group confirmed on Tuesday.

The British company is the eighth to abandon Facebook's digital currency project, joining the likes of Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, eBay, Stripe, Booking Holdings and Mercado Pago. The departure was first reported by CoinDesk.

"We can confirm that Vodafone is no longer a member of the Libra Association. Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of libra's governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient," the Libra Association said in a statement. "The Association is continuing the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system."

Vodafone will shift resources that were previously intended for Libra to M-Pesa, the company's digital payment service that is already serving six African nations, according to the CoinDesk report.

In a statement, Vodafone said it did not rule out the possibility of working with the Libra Association in the future.?

Since Facebook announced libra in June, the cryptocurrency has been stonewalled by concerns from lawmakers and regulators around the world. Facebook has promised it will not launch its corresponding Calibra digital wallet until libra is approved by U.S. regulators.

The Libra Association was originally made up of 28 corporate backers, who are meant to help govern libra the libra currency. The founding members were expected to invest a minimum of $10 million to fund the operating costs of the association and launch an incentive program to drive adoption, according to Facebook's initial announcement of the project.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in July said that libra raises "serious concerns regarding privacy, money laundering, consumer protection, financial stability" and the Fed had launched a working group to examine it.

Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Read the full CoinDesk article here.

--CNBC's Kate Rooney contributed to this report.

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