Banking Day

Banks left in cold as Facebook ramps up Libra

19 June 2019 7:04am

The mission for Libra “is a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people.”

That’s the bald statement that opens the White Paper on Libra published by Facebook and allies yesterday.

These allies include massive names from the world of payments schemes but not, yet, any bank. The list will grow with “the association working to develop and grow the Libra network”.

As categorised by Libra these include on the payments front: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU (Naspers’ fintech arm), Stripe and Visa.

Under “Technology and marketplaces” are: Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook itself, Farfetch, Lyft, MercadoPago, Spotify and Uber Technologies.

As for telecommunications, there are two early backers: France’s Iliad and Vodafone Group.

For blockchain knowhow there are four pioneers named: Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase and Xapo Holdings.

Venture capitalists sinking client money into this effort are Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital and Union Square Ventures.

Four “non-profits and multilateral organizations and academic institutions” involved so far are Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking.

WWB caters to 40 independent microfinance institutions and it is via this 43-year veteran of the struggle that the interdependency among US tech’s greatest names are clear.

One of two board co-chairs of Women’s World Banking is Connie Collingsworth, chief business operations officer of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is a funder of the Southeast Asia Advisory Council of WWB.

The Libra Association is an independent, not-for-profit membership organisation headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Article by: Ian Rogers

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