Just when we thought Libra was good to go without any further huddle, one more member of the 28-team of investors, Vodafone has also withdrawn from the cryptocurrency program
According to a reliable source, the British telecom giant’s departure from the program will reduce the entire team to 20 from the initial 28. Vodafone will now join other mega-companies like PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Mercado Pago, eBay, Stripe, and Booking Holdings who have also exited the team during the previous year.
While the information was quick to circulate across the internet, both Vodafone and Facebook confirmed the new development to Modern Consensus, a trusted media source via an email. According to the statement shared by the head of policy and communication of the Libra Association, Dante Disparte informed that;
“Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient. The Association is continuing the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system.”
According to Dante’s statement, it is obvious that Facebook is not quitting on the project yet, at least not while there is still a score of participants. Also, it is surprising to see Vodafone withdraw from the project, considering that the Libra Association was formally organized in October 2019, following the departure of the previous 7 absconders.
Speaking on why the decision was made, Dante revealed that although, the several regulatory scrutinies faced by the Libra project is one thing; on the flip side, the company have the intention to expand its operation to the Africa region, and as such would prefer to divert the initial funding for the Libra project towards bringing financial services to the world’s poor by focusing on its African mobile money transfer service M-Pesa.
“We have said from the outset that Vodafone’s desire is to make a genuine contribution to extending financial inclusion. We remain fully committed to that goal and feel that we can make the most contribution by focusing our efforts on M-Pesa. We will continue to monitor the development of the Libra Association and do not rule out the possibility of future co-operation,” a spokesperson for Vodafone told our source.
M-Pesa is joint-initiative by Safaricom and Vodafone and it came to inception sometimes in 2007. In the latest development, the service is on the verge of expanding the peer-to-peer service beyond the six African countries in which it’s now available.