Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency project suffers massive blow as MasterCard, Ebay, and Stripe withdraw

FILE PHOTO: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing regarding the company's use and protection of user data on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo

  • MasterCard, Ebay, and Stripe are exiting Facebook's planned cryptocurrency project, Libra.
  • PayPal also dropped out of talks to work with Facebook on Libra last week.
  • Facebook's deteriorating relationships with potential Libra partners, combined with intense scrutiny from lawmakers, leaves the future of the initiative uncertain.
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Ebay, Mastercard, and Stripe will no longer participate in the Libra Association, the group working to launch Facebook's proposed cryptocurrency, the Financial Times and Bloomberg reported on Friday.

The exits, combined with intense scrutiny from lawmakers, represent a huge blow to the initiative, and leave its future uncertain.

PayPal was the first major partner to withdraw from the organization on October 4.

"We highly respect the vision of the Libra Association; however, eBay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member. At this time, we are focused on rolling out eBay's managed payments experience for our customers," an Ebay spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement.

In a separate statement, Stripe said it will consider rejoining the association in the future.

"Stripe is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world," a spokesperson told Business Insider. "Libra has this potential We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage." A spokesperson for MasterCard was not immediately available to comment.

Former PayPal President David Marcus is the chief executive behind the Libra initiative and tried to assuage concerns from U.S. lawmakers during an extended Senate hearing in July. U.S. lawmakers expressed concerns with Facebook's abillity keep Libra secure and questioned whether a well-funded cryptocurrency would give the social media giant too much market power.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify before the House Financial Services Committee on October 23, where he is likely to face more tough questions regarding Libra.

"We appreciate Stripe and eBay's support for the goals and mission of the Libra project," Facebook's Dante Disparte, head of Policy and Communication for the Libra Association, told Business Insider in a statement. "We are focused on moving forward and continuing to build a strong association of some of the world's leading enterprises, social impact organizations and other stakeholders to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of a global payment system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people. We look forward to the inaugural Libra Association Council meeting in just 3 days and announcing the initial members of the Libra Association."

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