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Libra Association Suffers Another Blow as Vodafone Quits

Companies worry about Facebook's close involvement.

British telecommunications firm Vodafone has become the latest high-profile partner to leave the Libra Association. 

Libra Association Shows Strained Relations

The decision, which emerged on Jan. 21, makes Vodafone the eighth company to leave the Association since it was formed in October last year.

The decision appears to have been made amicably. 

As reported by the Financial Times, a Vodafone spokesperson confirmed that the company plans to focus on developing its M-Pesa offering. The mobile payment service currently serves 37 million active customers across seven countries in Africa.

Libra’s head of policy and communications also confirmed the news of Vodafone’s departure, stating to the press that “the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient.”

Nevertheless, the departure of yet another household name from the Libra Association is a blow to the project. In October, seven partners, including Mastercard, Visa, eBay, and Booking Holding, left the Association amid intense regulatory scrutiny.

The Financial Times report also states that several members have expressed their frustration that Facebook remains so closely involved with the project. 

Vodafone’s departure comes after the outgoing Swiss president stated in December that the project has “failed in its current form.” The latest speculation suggests that the project won’t get off the ground before 2021. 

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