Many in the crypto community were shocked in June when Facebook unveiled the firms backing Libra — Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Uber, Spotify, Coinbase, Xapo, and countless other pro-innovation companies and investors.
While the marketing material — which showed the Libra emblem enclosed by the logos of the aforementioned companies — made it seem like these partners are concretely part of Libra, there have been some doubts thrown around.
An executive of PayPal, who is effectively investing in a competitor by getting involved with Libra, recently came out to issue comments about the project, marking somewhat of a blow to the project amid already intense times for Libra.
PayPal Isn’t 100% Bullish on Libra… Yet
According to a report from the AFP published this weekend, PayPal isn’t 100% convinced Libra will become the money of the future.
The fintech giant’s investor relations vice president, Gabrielle Rabinovitch, asserted that should PayPal reconsider, their involvement in the Libra Association is technically a “non-binding commitment”.
Indeed, as reported by this outlet previously, the CEO of Visa said that what his firm signed with Libra is a “non-binding letter of intent”, meaning that “no one has yet officially joined”. Even the head of Facebook’s blockchain ambitions, PayPal alumnus David Marcus, has admitted that Libra partners reserve the right to pull their support.
Rabinovitch, notably, didn’t even hint that PayPal is looking to make a dash for the door. But, she asserted that there is “a lot of work” that needs to be completed before Libra is anything more than “just a very exciting idea”.
PayPal isn’t the only Libra Association member to have cast some doubt on the cryptocurrency. Previously, the Financial Times reported that three of the Libra Association’s members have been considering leaving the consortium. One of the executives of the skeptical firms said that Libra will put a strain on partners looking to maintain regulatory compliance.
Crypto Firms Want in
Some firms might want out, but others want in, specifically firms native to the crypto industry.
The most notable of these Libra-curious firms is Gemini, the firm founded by Zuckerberg’s rivals, the Winklevoss Twins. The brothers said in a CNN interview that they have an active line with Libra’s team, but are currently waiting on more information about the project before pulling the trigger.
Crypto infrastructure provider Bitcoin.com, previously led by Roger Ver, has also hinted at its interest in Libra. In a recent video published to the Bitcoin.com Youtube channel, Roger Ver said that his company has been in contact with Libra.
There has been also of some involvement in Libra by Asian-centric cryptocurrency firms, namely Japanese exchange CoinCheck and Taiwanese exchange MaiCoin.
Binance earlier this year said that it was also interested. However, the firm did a recent 180°, launching its own stablecoin project — the also-astrologically named Venus — to compete with Libra.
Tumultuous Regulatory Climate
All this comes at a very interesting turning point in Libra’s short but widely-covered lifespan. Last week, regulators in both France and Germany formally revealed moves to ban the development and launch of Libra in the European Union, echoing the line of U.S. politician Maxine Waters across the pond.
On Monday, representatives from the world’s central banks met in Switzerland to meet with Libra, presumably to discuss the potential monetary and criminal risks involved in the revolutionary cryptocurrency project.
Despite all this volatility internally and externally, key members in the whole Libra equation have still expressed their optimism. In recent interviews and event appearances, both the chief operating officer of Calibra