Vodafone has exited Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency

The association has lost another founding member.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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The founding partners of the Libra Association included Mastercard, Visa and Vodafone.


Facebook's cryptocurrency project,  Libra , has taken another hit, with Vodafone exiting the association. The international carrier is the eighth founding member of the group to leave, as reported earlier Tuesday by CoinDesk. The company's exit follows the withdrawal last year of eBay, Visa, Mastercard, Mercado Pago, Stripe, Booking Holdings and PayPal.

Libra confirmed the report about Vodafone on Tuesday. "Although the makeup of the association members may change over time," a spokesperson said, "the design of Libra's governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient."

Libra is a proposed global digital coin that'll be managed by the Libra Association, a de facto monetary authority that Facebook hoped would have as many as 100 partners by the time it's scheduled to launch next year. The members were expected to run nodes to help facilitate transactions on the Libra network, and cough up $10 million to get Libra going. Some of the remaining initial members include Uber, Coinbase, Lyft and Spotify .

Vodafone said in an emailed statement that it will continue "extending financial inclusion" through its mobile payments service M-Pesa, which was launched in Kenya in 2007 and is now present in 10 countries including Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ghana, Lesotho and Mozambique.

"Vodafone Group has decided to withdraw from the Libra Association," a spokesperson said Wednesday. "We will continue to monitor the development of the Libra Association and do not rule out the possibility of future cooperation."

Originally published Jan. 21.
Update, Jan. 22: Adds comment from Vodafone.

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