Shopify, an eCommerce company, said Friday (Feb. 21) that it was going to join the organization “to make commerce better in parts of the world where money and banking could be far better.”
The Libra Association has said Libra, Facebook’s proposed digital currency, is a way to make money available for the underdeveloped and unbanked population around the world, something that lawmakers and developers globally have questioned.
During a session with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in October, U.S. lawmakers said they were as uneducated about Libra afterward as before.
“To simply say that you’re organizing Libra because you’re concerned about the unbanked and it’s going to have payments systems does not answer the questions for me,” Chairwoman Maxine Waters said at the time.
Since it was introduced in 2019, the Libra Association has lost a number of high-profile members. Lawmakers asked payments companies to assess the risks of the project, calling attention to Facebook’s history with data protection. Visa, Mastercard and Stripe all left the association, followed by PayPal, eBay, Booking Holdings, Vodafone and Mercado Pago.
The situation has not improved for Libra, and the regulatory eyes on the project have not gone away. Many lawmakers have asked Facebook to give assurances that the currency won’t affect the value of the U.S. dollar. In October, Zuckerberg said Facebook would leave the Libra Association if it was launched before it got regulatory approval from the U.S.
“Facebook will not be part of launching the Libra payments system anywhere in the world until U.S. regulators approve,” Zuckerberg said.
He refused to put a moratorium on the project, however, while Congress figured out what it was going to do.