In a release today, Shopify announced that it had joined the Libra Association, the entity in charge of launching Facebook’s proposed non-sovereign digital currency. Shopify appears to have ignored the trend where multiple members have exited the consortium as it has become more apparent that the policy trend does not bode well for the crypto.
Founding members of Libra include names like Uber, Coinbase, Spotify, certain VCs and others. Prominent names that have exited the group include MasterCard, eBay, Visa and Stripe.
Our mission is to make commerce better for everyone and to do that, we spend a lot of our 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. This is one step, but not the only step we’ll be taking to be a part of the solution to this global problem. As a member of the Libra Association, we will work collectively to build a payment network that makes money easier to access and supports merchants and consumers everywhere. Our mission has always been to support the entrepreneurial journey of the more than one million merchants on our platform. That means advocating for transparent fees and easy access to capital, and ensuring the security and privacy of our merchants’ customer data. We want to create an infrastructure that empowers more entrepreneurs around the world.
The online commerce entity said that transactions are becoming increasingly global and that much of the existing payments rails were built before the days of the internet.
For Shopify, there is probably little risk of participating in the Association.
Alex Adelman, CEO & Co-founder of Lolli – a Bitcoin rewards application, had this to say about the news:
“Shopify joining the Libra association is a major development as Shopify has 1M merchants across 175 countries and has done $155B in sales. Facebook serves 2.3B+ monthly active users across Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and other FB owned applications. This partnership connects billions of people and millions of merchants with an efficient and cost-effective medium of exchange.”
Meanwhile, Libra quietly forges ahead, it appears. Although in its current iteration; a basked of fiat currencies and other assets, it appears to be DOA. Libra will need to revisit its structure to make it past the regulatory onslaught.
Whether Libra lives or not, the payments and transfers ecosystem is changing for the better.
We’ve said from the beginning that Libra shouldn’t and wouldn’t launch without the appropriate regulatory oversight and addressing legitimate concerns. Every time someone agrees with us, it doesn’t constitute a “blow” or “setback.” Innovation and regulation can live in harmony.
— Libra (@Libra_) October 15, 2019