Visa and Mastercard 'could withdraw their support' from Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency

by Osiris Team

Posted on Oct. 4, 2019, 9:28 a.m.
Alerts Development
Time to read: 3 min

The launch of Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency has been dealt a blow by partners Visa and Mastercard who are considering backing out, insiders have claimed.

The credit card giants are reportedly wavering in their support for the internet payments network amid a backlash from US and European officials.

Facebook's poor privacy record has not sat well with regulators, who are set to impose tough rules on Libra.

Keen to keep these regulators on side, Visa and Mastercard executives are pondering pulling out of the project, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

But Libra co-creator David Marcus hit back at these reports and said he was not aware of any company set to withdraw.

He tweeted: 'For Libra to succeed it needs committed members, and while I have no knowledge of specific organizations plans to not step up, commitment to the mission is more important than anything else.'

And he added: 'The tone of some of this reporting suggests angst, etc... I can tell you that we're very calmly, and confidently working through the legitimate concerns that Libra has raised by bringing conversations about the value of digital currencies to the forefront.'

The idea of Libra is to open online purchasing to millions of people who do not have access to bank accounts and reduce the cost of sending money across borders.

But Facebook already faces scrutiny over its poor record on privacy.

Mastercard and Visa had no comment. Facebook did not immediately respond to MailOnline's request for comment.

It is the latest wobble to shake Libra after France warned it will block development of Facebook's planned Libra cryptocurrency in Europe.

Speaking at an OECD conference on cryptocurrencies, economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire said it poses systemic financial risks and the potential for abuse of market dominance.

'All these concerns about Libra are serious,' he said. 'I want to be absolutely clear: In these conditions, we cannot authorise the development of Libra on European soil.'

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