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PayPal pulls backing for Facebook Libra

(Image credit: Image Credit: Make-Someones-Day / Pixabay)

Online payment giant PayPal has become the first big name to drop out of supporting Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency project.

According to a company statement, PayPal wants to focus more on its own projects and solutions, saying it h"as made the decision to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations.”

The company added that it will still “support” Libra’s aspirations, and that it will remain Facebook’s partner in the years to come.

Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, said that the changes are inevitable, as individual companies get a better understanding of what they’re risking, and what they’re looking to achieve.

In a statement, he said “We recognize that change is hard, and that each organization that started this journey will have to make its own assessment of risks and rewards of being committed to seeing through the change that Libra promises.”

Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra, with its wallet Calibra, have been the topic of much controversy, even since the project was announced. While many argued that it couldn’t even be called ‘cryptocurrency’, as it doesn’t possess the basic elements (decentralisation, immutability, transparency), others were more fearful of ceding monetary power to a commercial company.

Some outright slammed Facebook for trying to control yet another aspect of everyone’s lives, and probably gather more data along the way.

Arguments aside, the Libra project is still a long way from being an actual product, as its release wasn’t planned before next year.