Regulator and lawmaker pressure on Libra, Facebook’s planned digital currency, looks like it might be getting to be too much for some members of the Libra Association. According to the Financial Times, at least two unnamed members of the group are looking for the exit.
Specifically, two members of the group have already brought up the topic of what the “right next steps” would be if they wanted to leave the group. A third is worried now that regulatory scrutiny on Libra might lead to added scrutiny of their core business, leaving the world to wonder which company is afraid of their skeletons coming out of the closet.
One of the anonymous sources the Financial Times spoke to told them outlet “I think it’s going to be difficult for partners who want to be seen as in compliance [with their own regulators] to be out there supporting [Libra].”
Libra, which was mostly rumors for just a few months before its very public announcement, appears to have been rushed into the limelight before the Libra Association members had a solid plan for a rollout. That left at least one member commenting that maybe Facebook put the whole thing out there before it was ready:
Some of those conversations [about regulation] should have taken place before the launch, to understand how regulators would think about this, so there wasn’t so much pushback.
While this leak to the press lends even more evidence to the idea that Libra is doomed and may never see the light of day, it appears the Libra Association is talking about this plenty behind closed doors. One member commented to the Times that Facebook has privately complained that other members aren’t pulling their weight. They are apparently “tired of being the only people putting their neck out.”
This comes just days after Europe began investigating the potential for anti-trust violations should Libra roll out. The worry is that, if Facebook can tightly restrict competition on its own platforms, it might freeze out other potential competitors.
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