Vodafone Exits Libra as Central Banks Threats Mount

The Libra Association is now left with 20 members.

British telecom giant Vodafone has become the latest member to leave the Libra Association.

With this Coindesk-reported exit, the original consortium of 28 members supporting Facebook’s ambitious digital currency project has only left with 20 participants.

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“Vodafone is no longer a member of the Libra Association,” Dante Disparte, head of policy and communication for the association, said in a statement. “Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient.”

Prior to Vodafone, major companies, including Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, and eBay, parted their ways from the digital currency project.

Unlike other participants who exit the association for negative regulatory attention, Vodafone is moving its resources from the stalled project to its own digital payment efforts instead. The company will now focus on mobile-payments app M-Pesa, which has a massive user base in Kenya.

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“We have said from the outset that Vodafone’s desire is to make a genuine contribution to extending financial inclusion,” a Vodafone spokesperson told the publication.

Threats to central banks monetary system

Meanwhile, Libra has pushed regulators worldwide to think seriously about the threats of privatization of the monetary system.

Multiple major monetary regulators – the central bank of England, the eurozone, Japan, Canada, Sweden, and Switzerland – are mulling to study the feasibility of issuing central bank digital currencies (CBDC).

As reported by Reuters, a former Bank of Japan executive revealed that the step followed concerns around Libra, which triggered a global competition among central banks to make their currencies more appealing.

“Something like Libra would make transactions costs much cheaper. Major central banks need to appeal that they, too, are making efforts to make settlement more efficient with better use of digital technology,” the official told Reuters.

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