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Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Faces Exodus of Partners


Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Libra Association, a Swiss organization that Facebook created to oversee the project, is “focused on moving forward and continuing to build a strong association,” said Dante Disparte, its head of policy and communication. Even if the members change, he added, its underlying principles “will remain resilient.”

The Libra Association plans to announce its membership at a meeting on Monday, Mr. Disparte said.

Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat from Ohio on the Senate’s banking committee, applauded the withdrawals of Visa, Mastercard, eBay and Stripe.

“Large payment companies are wise to avoid legitimizing Facebook’s private, global currency,” Mr. Brown said. “Facebook is too big and too powerful, and it is unconscionable for financial companies to aid it in monopolizing our economic infrastructure. I trust others will see the wisdom of avoiding this ill-conceived undertaking.”

The Libra coalition has been fraying for months. In the weeks after Facebook announced the initiative, some of the partners began having second thoughts. Many were wary that Facebook’s issues with regulators and the uncertain legality of cryptocurrencies might hurt Libra. Some of the companies, particularly payments providers, rely on good relationships with financial regulators.

The partners signed nonbinding agreements, so backing out would be fairly easy, executives at seven of the partner companies told The New York Times in June. They also weren’t obliged to use or promote the digital token.

“We will not do anything that we think doesn’t meet our own personal standards, as well as the standards of regulators that we respect around the world,” Al Kelly, Visa’s chief executive, told CNBC this year.

In recent months, as skepticism around Libra was mounting, some of the partners realized the amount of resources they would have to commit to the effort was growing, said one person with knowledge of the situation, who declined to be named because the discussions were confidential.


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