British telecom conglomerate Vodafone has become the eighth company to pull out of the Libra Association, the governing council for the Facebook-created global digital currency initiative.
Vodafone and Libra both confirmed the company is no longer part of the consortium. Vodafone will dedicate resources previously intended for Libra to its well-established and successful digital payment service M-Pesa, which the company plans to expand beyond the six African nations currently served.
The parting appears to be amicable, with Vodafone leaving specifically to focus on its own related service and not due to the regulatory concerns that apparently spooked other former members.
Vodafone joins PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Mercado Pago, eBay, Stripe and Booking Holdings in withdrawing from the controversial stablecoin project, and it is the first company to exit after the association was formally organized in October 2019. The payment companies likely left due to concerns about increased regulatory scrutiny, which several U.S. senators threatened. (At least one, Visa, specifically mentioned “regulatory expectations” as a reason for not joining.)