Libra board formed amid controversy according to a report by reuters. The association holds its first meeting while reports of partners leaving the group flooded the news.
Amid a cloud of uncertainty regarding the release of Libra, the Calibra Association convened its first meeting and formed the board of 5 members. Calibra Association manages and governs the Libra StableCoin. It is a subsidiary of Facebook Inc. The meeting was held in the backdrop of another exit by online travel company Booking Holding. The members met in Geneva Switzerland where the StableCoin Libra is registered.
Facebook’s Calibra Association holds its first meeting and elects 5 members to the board among the remaining 21 partners. Partners are expected to pay $10 million to participate. Libra has faced a lot of backlash since its formal announcement in a white paper by Facebook. The governments of the US and EU have warned that Libra will not be accepted without stringent regulation. The regulation issue has pushed many partners to jump ship. In the last few days more partners have left the Calibra Association throwing the possible release of the cryptocurrency Libra into doubt.
It is a correction; it’s not a setback
“It is a correction; it’s not a setback,” said Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, whose 21 remaining members held their inaugural meeting in Geneva.
The owner of Priceline, Kayak and Booking.com on Monday confirmed that it had pulled out of the group, which is trying to bring digital coins into mainstream commerce.
Libra lost its last global payments backers on Friday, when Mastercard Inc (MA.N) and Visa Inc (V.N) abandoned the Geneva-based Libra Association. EBay Inc (EBAY.O), fintech startup Stripe and payments company Mercado Pago also pulled the plug.
The exodus followed warnings from politicians and regulators, from the United States to Europe, that Libra risked upsetting global financial stability, undermining users’ privacy and facilitating money laundering.
The latest withdrawals followed the departure of PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) from the Libra Association earlier this month. It leaves Facebook without the backing of any major payments firms for the project, due to launch by June 2020.
Disparte acknowledged that the digital currency’s regulatory issues could push back its launch date.
At the meeting in Geneva, members agreed interim articles of association laying out how the organisation will be governed, as required by Swiss law, according to a fact sheet provided by the Libra Association.
What is Libra?
Libra is a permissioned blockchain digital currency proposed by the American social media company Facebook.
The currency and network do not yet exist, and only rudimentary experimental code has been released. The launch is planned to be in 2020.
The project, currency and transactions are to be managed and cryptographically entrusted to the Libra Association, a membership organization of companies from payment, technology, telecommunication, online marketplace and venture capital, and nonprofits.
Morgan Beller started working on cryptocurrency and blockchain at Facebook in 2017, and was initially the only person working on Facebook’s blockchain initiative.
Facebook vice president David A. Marcus moved from Facebook Messenger to a new blockchain division in May 2018. First reports of Facebook planning a cryptocurrency, with Marcus in charge, emerged a few days later. By February 2019, there were more than 50 engineers working on the project.
Confirmation that Facebook intended a cryptocurrency first emerged in May 2019. At this time it was known as “GlobalCoin” or “Facebook Coin”.
Libra was formally announced on June 18, 2019. The creators of the coin are listed as Morgan Beller, David Marcus and Kevin Weil (Calibra’s VP of Product).
A first version is projected to be released in 2020.
On July 15, 2019, Facebook announced the currency will not launch until all regulatory concerns have been met and Libra has the “appropriate approvals”.
In a meeting with top Senate Democratic leaders on September 18, 2019, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told lawmakers that Libra would not be launched anywhere in the world without first obtaining approval from United States regulators.
PayPal left the Libra Association on 4 October 2019. eBay, Mastercard, Stripe, Visa and Mercado Pago followed on 11 October, and Bookings Holdings on 14 October.