Booking Holding Inc. is the seventh company to step away from the Libra Association and their upcoming libra coin. Bloomberg reported on this on Monday. The online travel company behind Booking.com follows the example of companies like Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, Ebay and Paypal. The lack of regulation and government approval is the main reason for these companies to step away from Libra.
Now only 21 members of the Libra Association remain. Originally 28 companies signed up to support the creation of a digital currency called libra. The project can have a huge impact, because the reach of Facebook would immediately bring the digital currency under the attention of 2.5 billion people worldwide. Because of criticism from governments not all companies in the association were happy.
The remaining members of the Libra Association were supposed to meet each other on Monday. In Geneva, Switzerland, the companies involved in Libra would finalize its governing charter and their initial membership. It’s unknown at this moment whether these documents have indeed been signed on Monday or not.
All you need to know about Libra
Facebook announced the Libra Association as a non-profit that would take care of all the governance for the introduction of libra. The value of Libra is tied to the US dollar. As a result Facebook and the association would back the digital currency with billions of actual dollars, euros, pounds and other currencies.
As soon Mark Zuckerberg announced the Libra Foundation and the cryptocurrency, the coin came under intense scrutiny. Lawmakers and regulators were saying that the digital coin could be used by criminals or even worse. While the French and German government even said they would ban libra, as they consider it a threat to the euro and their own sovereignty. Central banks are now working on their own digital currencies.
Libra Association far from death
Even though seven companies turned their back on the Libra Association, there are plenty of other companies who want to fill up that gap. Over 1500 companies want to join the Libra Association, according to Bloomberg. However with Booking Holdings another multi billion dollar company leaves the project. Visa, Mastercard and Paypal announced their departure last week.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify next week at the House Financial Services Committee. The House will question Zuckerberg about Libra. The Facebook CEO only wants to launch the digital currency after official approval from regulators.
Central banks having been sleeping
Even though bitcoin has been around for ten years and a great variety of cryptocurrencies have been developed ever since, central banks have been sleeping. It took a company with 2.1 billion users worldwide to make central banks see the potential of cryptocurrencies. European Central Bank board member Benoit Coeuré said libra was a wake-up call for central banks.
After the announcement of libra several countries panicked and immediately said they would ban the cryptocurrency. France and Germany were among them. They even considered launching an European cryptocurrency. The chief economist from ING Bank thinks something like this will certainly happen. He said that central banks will issue their own digital currencies within three years.
Also published on Medium.