MasterCard, Visa exit Facebook’s Libra digital currency plan

Visa and MasterCard are dropping out of Facebook’s Libra project, a potentially fatal blow to the social network’s plan for a worldwide digital currency.

Along with the two payment giants, several other large companies have announced their departures from Libra. Payment processing company Stripe said it was stepping back, as well as online auction company eBay.

“We highly respect the vision of the Libra Association; however, eBay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member,” eBay said in a statement.

PayPal was the first of Libra’s big partners to exit, announcing last week it would no longer be involved.

Facebook faced substantial criticism about its plans to create a separate, private currency system to allow cross-border payments. Politicians on both sides of the spectrum questioned the privacy issues raised with Facebook controlling a currency, as well as concerns about money laundering.

France and Germany last month pledged to block Libra from operating in Europe and backed the development of a public cryptocurrency instead.