The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is reporting that financial backers of Facebook’s cryptocurrency, Libra, are having second thoughts.
According to sources familiar with the situation, Visa and Mastercard—both members of the Libra Association created by Facebook to oversee the project—are having doubts about continuing to back the currency amid criticism from various governments. Neither of the financial companies want to risk the investigation and regulation that seems all but certain should Libra move forward.
Since Facebook’s announcement that it would be rolling out Libra in June 2020, governments around the world have expressed concern about the cryptocurrency. Fears include the possibility that Libra could undermine government-backed currencies, erode consumer privacy—an area where Facebook already has a poor track record—and give the social media giant even more influence and power than it currently has.
Lawmakers in the U.S. have asked Facebook to delay the currency’s launch until an investigation can be done, while Germany and France have vowed to block it from Europe altogether. Even governments that are not opposed, such as Ireland, are still cautious about the repercussions that come with the currency.
If the WSJ’s article is any indication, Facebook may have to shore up confidence in the currency long before it ever deals with government regulation.
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