Mastercard and Visa Reconsider Libra as Regulatory Criticism Intensifies


On Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that MasterCard Inc. (NYSE:MA) and Visa Inc. (NYSE:V), among other financial partners, could be reconsidering their position in Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ:FB) cryptocurrency project Libra.

Backers Not Ready for Criticism from Regulators

The Journal report indicated that the financial backers of the cryptocurrency project are not ready to draw criticism from regulators. Libra has received criticism from legislators owing to the reputation of Facebook regarding how it has been handling personal information. Many have declined Facebook’s request to support Libra publicly.

In an interview with CNBC, Visa CEO Alfred Kelly had indicated that although they had signed a letter of intent with the Libra Association, they were nonetheless not a member of anything. He further added that the company will not be part of the association unless there is proof of compliance with regulations.

Libra has two dozen backers, and the report indicates that policy execs of the Libra Association have received a summons to a meeting in Washington. Last week, the association head indicated that the leaders of the project were committed to addressing regulatory concerns about the token. According to Bloomberg, Stripe Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL) are still unsure about signing on with the project.

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Facebook Pushes Back the Launch of Libra

Last week, Reuters reported that the coin’s launch could be pushed back in order for Facebook to address growing regulatory concerns across the globe. Facebook had planned to launch its stablecoin in mid next year in collaboration with Libra Association members. Libra Association leaders will meet in Geneva on October 14 to review a charter for the association as well as appoint directors.

The cryptocurrency project was seen as the path to the mainstream adoption of virtual currency. However, the project has met political and regulatory criticism with some EU countries such as Germany and France vowing to block it from Europe. Last month, Bruno Le Maire, the economy and finance minister of France, indicated that Libra is a threat to monetary sovereignty under current circumstances and should not operate in Europe.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © Stockcrafter

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