In June, PayPal originally indicated that it would become part of the Libra Association – the consortium of large companies that would work alongside Facebook on the Libra project.
However, PayPal left the association in October to focus on its own projects, followed quickly by Mastercard and Visa.
Since its announcement, Libra has faced growing regulatory pressures and widespread criticism from lawmakers, especially in the EU, who have described the project as “dangerous to the monetary system“.
PayPal CEO speaks out
Polina Marinova, interviewing PayPal CEO Dan Schulman for Fortune, pressed for more information concerning the split, which at the time came with little warning.
Instead, the payment provider simply announced in October that:
“PayPal has made the decision to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities.”
Some have speculated that PayPal, which is known to adhere carefully to local and national regulation, left the consortium following regulatory fears.
When asked about this, Schulman replied:
“Regulatory and compliance, for us, is foundational. But we have an extremely robust relationship with every regulator out there. We are extremely trusted on that. That wasn’t really what spooked us on it.”
Instead, Schulman described the parting of ways as a friendly move, with the companies both exploring other options, saying:
“It wasn’t an acrimonious divorce or anything like that. It’s just that they will start going down a road that we’re very interested in looking at and monitoring, and maybe later, there are ways we can work together.”
He added that he wishes Facebook’s Libra team the best of luck in deploying the digital currency. Despite this, Facebook was particularly scathing of PayPal’s move at the time, stating in an official response:
“We’re better off knowing about this lack of commitment now.”
Facebook was referring to its personal commitment to a financial system geared towards the people and not institutions, which the company clearly felt was a goal PayPal no longer shared.
Schulman only holds Bitcoin
PayPal CEO owns Bitcoin.
— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) November 20, 2019
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the author should not be considered as financial advice. We do not give advice on financial products.