Shopify Joins Facebook-Led Libra Association
It’s been a while since Facebook’s Libra has been in the news — and, following the last round of headlines it did garner, you’d be forgiven if you assumed the project was dead. However the cryptocurrency effort managed to get a bit of a boost last week. As TechCrunch reports, e-commerce platform Shopify has now joined the Libra Association.
The addition of Shopify to the Association comes a few months after several major companies pulled their support for the project. Among those who have severed ties with Libra (at least for time being) are eBay, PayPal, Stripe, Visa, MasterCard, and others. Their departures came following a wave of regulatory scrutiny both domestically and abroad. This led Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to Capitol Hill to testify before the House Financial Services Committee about Libra last October — just as supporters were dropping. Elsewhere, countries such as France and Germany preemptively moved to block the currency. Through it all, some members remained, including Uber, Lyft, Spotify, Kiva, Thrive Capital, Coinbase, and more.
Tweeting a link to a blog post announcing their membership in the Libra Association, Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke wrote, “Shopify spends a lot of time thinking about how to make commerce better in parts of the world where money and banking could be far better. That’s why we decided to become a member of the Libra Association.” That blog post also stated, “This is one step, but not the only step we’ll be taking to be a part of the solution to this global problem.” In response, Libra Association’s head of Policy and Communications Dante Disparte said, “We are proud to welcome Shopify, Inc to the Libra Association. As a multinational commerce platform with over one million businesses in approximately 175 countries, Shopify, Inc. brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Libra project.”
It’s clear that Facebook and the rest of the Libra Association still have a tall task ahead of them as they’ll need to convince regulators worldwide that the cryptocurrency won’t enable illicit activity nor put consumers’ financial data at risk. Moreover, while initial plans called for the token to launch this year, that’s seemed increasingly unlikely for some time. With all that said, the Association’s addition of Shopify could serve as a shot in the arm for the flailing project. Although the company may not be quite as high-profile as those who departed, it’s worth noting that there are still several heavy hitters in the line-up. If nothing else, it seems like Libra might not be done just yet.