The breaking point for Libra, and its association, seems to have arrived. However, there is still optimism and forward-thinking at the association as it reportedly held its inaugural meeting and began forming its board.
The first meeting, held in Switzerland, saw the consortium of other enterprises and companies that make up the association, reaffirm their interest in the project and commit to continuing to develop Libra in the face of huge regulatory scrutiny.
Some members that would have been expected to be there include Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Stripe and PayPal, who have all since left the Association amid the pressure being exerted from all fronts.
Joining these departing members is also Booking Holdings, the owner of travel sites booking.com, priceline.com, agoda.com and Kayak – the latest to withdraw from the Libra Association.
Regardless, Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, has shaken off these leavers stating: “It is a correction; it’s not a setback.” The meeting allowed for the remaining 21 members to express their continued support, and also allowed for a five-member board to be formed.
The five-member board comprises of Facebook’s David Marcus, representatives from non-profit Kiva Microfunds, PayU, venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and Xapo Holdings Limited.
This is a rather important step in Libra’s evolution, and is a show of determination to forge ahead, but it also could be the first indication that Libra will be – at the very least – delayed.
Disparte, after calling the recent membership turbulence a correction, did admit that there was the chance of a setback and further delays as the regulatory scrutiny continues to plague the project.
The real issue for Libra and its Association is that some of this regulatory scrutiny seems to be having an effect. The departures of some of the key payment’s companies in the association – that of Visa, Mastercard and Stripe, were all contacted by Senators who expressed their concerns about the continued participation.
It appears as if these Senators may have had enough sway to push the Association members out of the door, coming to the realization that the sentiment from outside of Libra is far more negative than first thought.