Consumer protection groups request Libra Association members’ withdrawal from Facebook’s crypto-project

  • 19 July 2019, Friday, 08:10

Libra, Facebook’s first attempt at venturing into the cryptospace, has run into hot waters soon after its announcement in June. The project has been receiving backlash from regulators in not just the United States, but from those across the globe as well. After two days of brutal grilling sessions at the hands of the U.S Senate and Congress, Facebook’s Libra has drawn even more ire.

In a recent development, consumer protection groups have come out to ask Libra’s Associate members to disassociate themselves from Facebook’s nascent crypto-project.

Open Markets Institute, Public Citizen, Demand Progress Education Fund and Revolving Door Project, the four consumer protection groups, have requested the 27 associate members of the Libra Association to withdraw from the project. The 27-member, Swiss-based consortium would be responsible for governing the Libra project and also act as node validators on the Libra blockchain, when its launched in 2020.

The four consumer groups wrote an open letter requesting the same and sent them to the likes of Visa, MasterCard, Paypal, and Uber. According to the letter, the aforementioned consumer groups believe Libra could have “significant competitive, political, financial, and social implications.”

The open letter further read,

“The ostensible purpose is to service the 1.7 billion people without access to traditional banking products and services. Achieving a laudable goal should not be cheapened with a project whose aims are in fact unclear and whose leadership structure is based on fear.”

The letter concludes by saying,

“We understand that Facebook is a powerful company, and that it has in part generated a climate of fear with its market dominance. But if you collectively withdraw from the project, it will signal that the just-beginning era of digital money will be based on fair rules and democratic deliberation, and not intimidation by the powerful.”