Attempting to signal its popularity despite high profile dropouts from Visa, Stripe and more, the Facebook-led cryptocurrency Libra Assocation announced that 1500 organizations have expressed interest in joining the Vågen project. 180 of them meet the eligibility requirements, which could replace the 7 companies that dropped out of the association this month, including Kayak owner Bookings Holdings today.
This new growth of potential recruits can help the Libra Association reach its 100-member goal ahead of a scheduled launch in 2020 that appears to be delayed by intense reset by the regulators.
The announcement came out of the first official meeting of the Libra Association today in Geneva, Switzerland. The group appointed its board of directors: Facebook's head of the cryptocurrency Calibra team David Marcus, Andreessen Horowitz's Katie Haun, Xapos Wences Cesares, Kiva Microsystems & # 39; Matthew Davie, and PayU's Patrick Ellis. Marcus' inclusion should come as no surprise given that he has been the public face of Libra, even though his former company PayPal pulled out of the association. Marcus writes that he is "honored to have been voted in"
Another former PayPal's Bertrand Perez was formally named Libra Association & # 39; s COO and interim Managing Director after unofficially holding these titles. The former senior director of payment engineering at PayPal is now also chairman of Vagen's five-member board and full membership council. "We have no call to play the pirates," he told the news site Revyuh last month, noting "if, for example, the European Central Bank still denies us the right to operate in Europe, we will not, we do not intend to to play the pirates, we respect the law. ”
Libra's communications manager and policy Dante Disparte, formerly of Risk Cooperative and head of business development Kurt Hemecker, formerly of Zong, also had their roles confirmed.
The remaining Libra Association members listed below signed the Libra Charter, agreeing that members may leave for any reason, and with some restrictions transfer the membership plus $ 10 million into Libra Investment Tokens ownership of another qualified organization.
- Payments: PayU (Naspers & # 39; fintech arm)
- Technology and marketplaces: Facebook / Calib Ra, Farfetch, Lyft, Spotify AB, Uber Technologies, Inc.
- Telecommunications: Iliad, Vodafone Group
- Blockchain: Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Inc., Xapo Holdings Limited
- Venture Capital: Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures
- Nonprofit and Multilateral Organizations and Academic Institutions: Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Women's World Banking
- No Longer Members: Visa , Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe, Booking Holdings, eBay, Mercado Pago
The Libra Association did not announce any cha strategies or other plans that could help the organization to attack regulators' fears. One way suggested by Libra Association member Andreessen Horowitz's partner Chris Dixon was to move to Libra, which is denominated in US dollars rather than being linked to a basket of international currencies. It may raise concerns for Libra that could potentially compete directly with the US dollar.
This shows that the 180 potential members were revealed as the biggest news from the meeting. A Libra Association spokesman writes:
“Since the Libra project was announced on June 18, 2019, it has created excitement around the world. The Libra Association confirmed that over 1,500 entities have indicated interest in joining the Libra project effort, and approximately 180 units have met the preliminary membership criteria shared on Libra.org. "
These requirements include companies that hit two of three thresholds for a $ 1 billion dollar market value or $ 500 million in customer balance, reaching 20 million people a year, or being recognized as a top 100 industry leader. There are other criteria for cryptocurrency companies, non-profit organizations and universities.
However, we do not have information on when the interest of the 1,500 potential partners was gathered. Withdrawal of Mastercard, PayPal and more, comments from regulators intending to block the currency, and Marcus tense interrogation on Capitol Hill could have scared some arbitrary allies since.
Marcus and Perez face an uphill battle to get Libra to market. Not only do they have to prove that it is protected against fraud, money laundering and damage to sovereign currencies. They also have to mess with the toxic brand Facebook has evolved over the years. Lawmakers who feel the social network is too large take advantage of their second chance to limit it with Libra.