The news seems to be going from bad to worse for Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, as online travel company Booking Holdings has stepped away from the nonprofit Libra Association. As Bloomberg reports, that means seven of Libra’s original 28 members have exited the project.
Facebook announced in June that it would launch Libra, an ambitious entry into the cryptocurrency business made with the support of major financial institutions. But the plan soon faced scrutiny from regulators around the world, who have questioned the influence Facebook would wield with a currency of its own.
In the face of the backlash, PayPal left the project earlier last month. The situation came to a boil last week, as two senators questioned three other companies about partnering on the project, saying “key questions remain unanswered about the risks the project poses to consumers, regulated financial institutions, and the global financial system.” Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, Mercado Pago, and eBay quickly bailed on the plan as well.
The Libra Association’s founding members were set to meet Monday in Geneva and determine a charter for the nonprofit. The timing of the departures suggests some companies got cold feet ahead of that meeting, and as the members determine a way ahead, the entire project’s future is looking more and more uncertain.