After several top-notch companies decided to withdraw from the Libra Association, the cryptocurrency project championed by Facebook has got a major new entrant -- Canadian e-commerce major Shopify.
Shopify said it would work with other members of the association to collectively build a payment network that makes money easier to access and supports merchants and consumers everywhere.
"Our mission is to make commerce better for everyone and to do that, we spend a lot of our time thinking about how to make commerce better in parts of the world where money and banking could be far better," the company said in a statement on Friday. "That's why we decided to become a member of the Libra Association. This is one step, but not the only step we'll be taking to be a part of the solution to this global problem," it added.
Shopify joins Libra project
The Libra Association last year said that over 1,500 entities indicated an interest in joining the Libra project effort since the project was announced on June 18, 2019. Facebook and 20 partner organisations formally joined the digital currency project during a meeting in Geneva in October. The stated mission of the association is to build a better payment network, broadening access to essential financial services, and lowering costs for billions of people who need it the most.
However, the project courted controversies and telecom major Vodafone, which was one of the 21 organisations which signed onto the Libra Association charter in October, decided to exit the project last month. Earlier, companies including PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Mercado Pago, eBay, Stripe and Booking Holdings withdrew from the project.
Several US senators have opposed Facebook's digital coin, arguing that the social networking giant has been irresponsible with user data privacy. They have even called the digital cryptocurrency Libra "delusional" and "dangerous". Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the Congress last October about Libra, defending the idea, but acknowledging the struggles left to overcome.
Shopify said its decision to join the Libra Association was in line with the company's mission to create an infrastructure that empowers more entrepreneurs around the world. "Our mission has always been to support the entrepreneurial journey of the more than one million merchants on our platform. That means advocating for transparent fees and easy access to capital, and ensuring the security and privacy of our merchants' customer data," the company said.