|Bid||175.90 x 1000|
|Ask||175.89 x 900|
|Day's Range||174.55 - 178.20|
|52 Week Range||121.60 - 187.05|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.81|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||33.74|
|Earnings Date||Oct. 24, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.00 (0.56%)|
|1y Target Est||201.11|
(Bloomberg) -- The Facebook Inc. executive responsible for the embattled Libra cryptocurrency said he doesn’t fault companies that pulled out of the project, adding that he’s optimistic more organizations will sign on despite intense opposition from politicians who seem to fear financial innovation.“I totally respect the fact that those businesses and those leaders have a responsibility to their shareholders, employees and stakeholders,” Facebook’s David Marcus said in a Tuesday interview with Bloomberg Television. “We are going to move forward. We are going to add more members.”Facebook suffered a setback in recent days when a quarter of the membership of Libra’s governing body, the Libra Association, defected from the effort amid pushback from regulators and lawmakers. Among those who stepped away are some of the association’s most high-profile names, including Visa Inc., Stripe Inc. and Mastercard Inc.Visa, Stripe and Mastercard received letters earlier this month from Democratic U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and Brian Schatz that urged the companies to “carefully consider” how they would manage potential risks associated with Libra before proceeding with the project. Asked if he thought the letter constituted a threat from the senators to the companies, Marcus responded, "I don’t know, what did it sound like to you?" He added that such correspondence can have a chilling effect.“For these types of letters to be circulated for a thing that is an idea -- a project -- and telling people you should not explore innovation,” that is a concern, Marcus said. “The core of our financial system has not evolved much. Consumers all around the world are paying the price for it,” he added.Facebook announced its Libra plans in June, saying the digital token would give consumers a low-cost way to make payments and transfer money across the globe. Regulators and lawmakers have expressed concerns that the coin would be used to bypass money-laundering rules and might undermine central banks’ control over monetary policy.The Libra Association, which held its first meeting in Geneva this week, has said it has more than enough willing companies waiting in the wings to join the project. There are 1,500 organizations who have expressed interest in signing on, the association said, though so far only 180 of them meet the organization’s criteria.Even if new backers do sign on, Libra is still a long way from reality. Facebook executives and the Libra Association have said they won’t launch the currency until regulators in the U.S. and elsewhere have been appeased.Industry-watchers will soon get a fresh look at lawmakers’ sentiment toward Libra. Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is slated to testify before the House Financial Services Committee next week.To contact the reporters on this story: Julie Verhage in New York at email@example.com;Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jesse Westbrook at email@example.com, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The Libra Association, which oversees a controversial cryptocurrency, was officially formed on Tuesday, and its five board members have one thing in common: close relationships with Facebook Inc. and its executives.When Facebook first announced Libra, the company was quick to point out that it wouldn’t be alone in managing such an ambitious endeavor. Instead, it hoped to be one out of as many as 100 companies controlling the new digital coin. But as regulatory pressures have mounted and early partners have been leaving the project in droves, Facebook finds itself resorting to close allies to fill the Libra leadership team.David Marcus, who heads the Facebook team that proposed Libra in the first place, is on the board. Marcus is also an investor in Xapo Inc., whose Chief Executive Officer Wences Casares is on Libra’s board as well.Joining them is Katie Haun, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, which was an early investor in Facebook. Another early Facebook backer, Digital Sky Technologies, is part-owned by Naspers, which has majority ownership of the parent company of PayU, the home of another Libra board member, Patrick Ellis.The fifth board member, Matthew Davie of micro-lending service Kiva, also has ties to Facebook. One of Kiva’s board members is John Muller, associate general counsel at Facebook who, like Marcus, hails from PayPal Holdings Inc.“Silicon Valley boards nearly always have these kinds of interconnections,” Aaron Brown, an investor and a writer for Bloomberg Opinion, wrote in an email. “Even someone without formal ties to Facebook will have informal and indirect ones. So no one qualified to be on the board is likely to be fully independent of Facebook. But I don’t see the board as being essentially an independent check on Facebook. I see it as a group of qualified and interested people.”The board members and the Libra Association didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.“Yes, David is a very small investor in Xapo like dozens of other people from Silicon Valley. Yes, Wences and David are both in payments and fintech in Silicon Valley and because of that they have known each other for a few years now,” a spokesperson for Xapo said. “Neither David being a small investor in Xapo nor David and Wences having known each other for a few years compromises Wences’ independence in Libra’s board.”The Libra Association board was formed after high-profile exits by a number of companies, including Mastercard Inc., Visa Inc. and PayPal. The exodus followed scrutiny by lawmakers and regulators who have expressed concern about Facebook’s poor track record in protecting user privacy.Facebook has described Libra as a community effort. But the original group of about 28 partners has dwindled to 21 organizations that signed on as members on Tuesday. Facebook’s challenge will be to convince more companies that there is value for them in a project that has the social-media giant firmly in the driving seat, whether it intended that to be the case or not.(Corrects number of original partners in final paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Olga Kharif in Portland at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at email@example.com, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s just as well that big companies that process and facilitate payments have quit Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project, fearing a regulatory backlash. If Facebook really wants to bring financial services to the “unbanked,” it should try doing it on a smaller scale than these companies’ presence promised. And even then, the probability of failure will be high.It’s clear why PayPal Holdings Inc., Stripe Inc., eBay Inc., MasterCard Inc. and Visa Inc. have decided not to join the Libra Association, which Facebook has been organizing to run the proposed digital currency. They took seriously the recent warning of Senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Sherrod Brown of Ohio that because of their membership, they could “expect a high level of scrutiny from regulators not only on Libra-related payment activities, but on all payment activities.” The concern is that a cryptocurrency used in conjunction with encrypted messaging could potentially be used in illegal transactions, and anyone involved in creating such an opportunity would be suspect.U.S. regulators are perfectly capable of scuppering major cryptocurrency projects. On Oct. 11, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced it had stopped Telegram Group Inc. from distributing digital tokens, so-called Grams, to the investors who contributed $1.7 billion to the creation of the cryptocurrency last year. These include major U.S. venture capital firms such as Benchmark, Sequoia and Lightspeed. The same could easily happen to Libra.That’s the problem with starting so big. Telegram’s token offering was the biggest ever recorded. Facebook made a big announcement on Libra and presented a list of partners that read like a Who’s Who of the payments industry. They envisaged global launches for their cryptocurrencies. Of course regulators and politicians were alarmed.To avoid this kind of outcome, Facebook — whose stated goal with Libra is to offer affordable payment services and loans to people currently priced out of the financial services market — could have tried the strategy that got results for one of its remaining partners, Vodafone Group Plc. Vodafone launched M-Pesa, Kenya’s storied “mobile money,” in 2007, and one of the project’s major assets was the Kenyan central bank’s consent to the launch without any formal regulation. Vodafone’s local cellular operator, Safaricom Plc, quickly built up a network of stores where people without bank accounts could pay in and receive cash, and old-fashioned mobile phones began to double as wallets for transfers and purchases. The lack of regulatory intervention and the large physical network, fed by relatively generous commissions, made sure that by 2019, M-Pesa claimed 37 million active customers in seven African countries. But attempts to transplant the service to many other markets have failed. Vodafone has closed M-Pesa in India (in part because of regulatory obstacles), South Africa (low customer interest), Romania and Albania (apparently it was unprofitable). Vodafone discovered there was no cookie-cutter solution. In different countries, lenders, retailers and mobile operators offered competing services, and regulatory scrutiny varied. To find countries in which to launch such an electronic money service, one would need to go down the list of nations with large populations of the unbanked. The top 20, according to the World Bank, includes big ones, such as China, India, Indonesia and Brazil.But in most of these countries, people are already using some form of digital money in lieu of dealing with traditional financial institutions. That’s why the list of 20 countries with the smallest percentage of people who have recently made or received digital payments looks completely different.In other words, it’s not easy to find a country where a lot of people have neither a bank account nor access to other kinds of financial services. And then there’s a chance that the cash-using population of a specific country wants to stay that way. One possible reason M-Pesa didn’t quite work in Albania and Romania is that these countries have large informal economies. With up to a third of gross domestic product “in the shadow,” traceable electronic transactions are unattractive compared with cash. These difficulties of finding good target markets, and ones with friendly regulators to boot, should explain Facebook’s desire to launch at scale, to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks. But the risk with this approach is that the idea of offering cheap financial services to the unbanked begins to look like a smokescreen for building a huge unregulated bank in the developed world — just what regulators in Europe and the U.S. fear the most.Instead of pushing ahead with the remaining partners and risking the same kind of trouble as Telegram, Facebook should go back to the drawing board and start thinking of smaller projects tailor-made to specific countries’ requirements. Expansion would be slow, and there would be failures and miscalculations along the way, but regulators in each market might be easier to persuade that the project’s goals aren’t nefarious. To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tobin Harshaw at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Mnuchin says Treasury, and not just the senators who sent letters, also warned Libra Association members about their involvement.
(Bloomberg) -- The Libra Association hasn’t officially launched but has already lost a quarter of its membership, as Booking Holdings Inc., an online travel company that operates websites including Kayak.com and Priceline.com, joined Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and four other companies in leaving the controversial cryptocurrency project spearheaded by Facebook Inc.With the departure of Norwalk, Connecticut-based Booking, the Libra Association now has 21 founding members remaining of the original 28 companies that signed on to the association in June. PayPal Holdings Inc., Stripe Inc., MercadoLibre Inc. and EBay Inc. in the past two weeks have also said they would abandon the project.The remaining members of the Libra Association, a nonprofit that would manage the cryptocurrency, planned to meet Monday in Geneva, Switzerland to finalize its governing charter and initial membership.Libra came under intense scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators as soon as Facebook announced the project. Regulators warned that the cryptocurrency, originally set to launch next year, could be used by criminals if not properly monitored, while lawmakers pilloried Facebook’s track record at hearings in July with Libra co-founder David Marcus.Officials in some countries, including Germany and France, announced that they would ban Libra, saying that the currency could be a threat to monetary policy, among other concerns.Visa, Mastercard and Stripe left the project shortly after receiving a letter from Democratic senators Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Sherrod Brown of Ohio, warning that they could face increased scrutiny if they stayed on board.Brian Armstrong, the CEO of Libra-member Coinbase Inc., on Sunday said the pressure felt “un-American.” “Why the need for the intimidation tactics? This would be called anti-competitive/monopolistic behavior if any private company did it,” Armstrong wrote on Twitter.In the face of the departures, Libra has said more than 1,500 companies have expressed interest in joining the association and that the currency wouldn’t launch until it satisfied regulators’ concerns.Developers have continued to advance the open-source code that would underlie Libra. However, Visa, Mastercard and PayPal could have provided critical experience in navigating U.S. financial regulators’ concerns, making their departures particularly painful. Booking Holdings, which has a market capitalization of more than $84 billion, was among the only remaining large, publicly held companies left in the project.Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg plans to testify next week at the House Financial Services Committee on Libra, among other topics.Representatives for the Libra Association didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.\--With assistance from Kurt Wagner.To contact the reporters on this story: Joe Light in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Olivia Carville in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Investing.com -- U.S. stock futures traded lower on Monday as reports suggested that it will be hard to nail down even the minimalist agreement on trade between the U.S. and China.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc.’s effort to create a cryptocurrency was dealt a blow on Friday after several key partners, including Mastercard Inc., Visa Inc., EBay Inc., Stripe Inc. and Mercado Pago, abandoned the project. The defections followed fierce criticism from global regulators and lawmakers, and have prompted some industry-watchers to question whether the Libra program can survive.The news comes days before the Libra Association, the group that will oversee the digital currency, prepares to convene its members and ask them to sign a charter agreement. The meeting is slated to take place on Monday in Geneva. A Libra Association spokeswoman said on Friday that the gathering will proceed as planned, and that it would announce the first list of official partners once a formal charter is signed.In a statement, the spokeswoman said the group was "focused on moving forward and continuing to build a strong association" as it worked to create "a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of a global payment system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people."When Facebook launched plans for Libra in June, a critical part of its pitch was that major players in the payments and tech industry were supporting it. The cryptocurrency would be run out of Geneva by the organizations that comprised the Libra Association, not solely by Facebook. But now that that alliance appears to be eroding, the project’s future is uncertain."I don’t think Facebook can do this by itself," said Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Securities told Bloomberg TV. "Short of a big bank stepping in like JPMorgan, I don’t think this could ever happen."In a tweet on Friday, David Marcus, the Facebook executive spearheading the effort, said that the exit of six partners would not derail the effort. "I would caution against reading the fate of Libra into this update," he wrote. "Change of this magnitude is hard. You know you’re on to something when this much pressure builds up."Whether or not Libra implodes, the exits highlight the extreme challenges that lie ahead for the project, which if successful could have a sweeping impact on the global financial system. "It may very well fail completely," said Lisa Ellis, an analyst at MoffettNathanson. Even if it survives, progress will take much longer and "it’s likely to fall into some level of obscurity," she added.Facebook has faced fierce backlash since the company announced plans for Libra. Politicians and regulators around the world have called on Facebook to halt its progress, and some have suggested Libra could be used for illegal money laundering or trafficking schemes.Despite the scrutiny from public officials and the exodus of partners, Facebook remains committed to Libra, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Some people inside the company think the defections are partly driven by established payments providers worrying about a new entrant encroaching on their turf, the person said.In the months since its announcement, Facebook has frequently found itself in the spotlight over the cryptocurrency. Marcus went to Washington in July to testify before Congress about Facebook’s plans. Later this month, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before the House Financial Services Committee to answer even more questions about Libra.Earlier this week, two U.S. senators cautioned Visa, Mastercard and Stripe to reconsider their involvement in the project. Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Brian Schatz of Hawaii said that Libra poses a risk to not only the financial system, but the payments companies’ broader business. "We urge you to carefully consider how your companies will manage these risks before proceeding," they said a letter to the companies.Mastercard said in a statement that it will "remain focused on our strategy and our own significant efforts to enable financial inclusion around the world," adding, "We believe there are potential benefits in such initiatives and will continue to monitor the Libra effort." Visa said the company would also continue to evaluate whether to join in Libra in the future, and that the company’s "ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations."In a statement on Friday, EBay expressed its support for the project, but said it would focus on rolling out its own payments products. “We highly respect the vision of the Libra Association; however, eBay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member,” an EBay spokesman wrote in the emailed statement. “At this time, we are focused on rolling out eBay’s managed payments experience for our customers."Payments giant Stripe, one of the most high-profile startups to sign onto the project, signaled it remained open to working on it in the future. “Stripe is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world. Libra has this potential,” said a company spokesperson. “We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage.”The Libra Association is composed of about two dozen organizations, including Facebook. A Lyft Inc. spokeswoman confirmed on Friday that the ride-hailing company remains a member. Other companies that have not signaled plans to leave include Uber Technologies Inc., Spotify Technology S.A., Coinbase Inc. and telecom providers Iliad SA and Vodafone Group Plc. PayPal Holdings Inc. dropped out last week. (Updates with David Marcus comment in 6th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Candy Cheng, Lizette Chapman, Spencer Soper and Lydia Beyoud.To contact the reporters on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at email@example.com;Julie Verhage in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Jenny Surane in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Anne VanderMey, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Two Senate Democrats are urging three payment processing companies to reconsider their involvement with the Libra cryptocurrency project envisioned by Facebook Inc. and a coalition of other groups.Libra poses risks not only to global financial systems, but also to the companies’ broader payments business, Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii said in letter on Tuesday to Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and Stripe Inc.In the letter, the lawmakers cited news reports on the difficulty some of Libra Association members have faced in obtaining details on the organization’s management and risks.The association is composed of a group of 27 members including Facebook and the payments companies, as well as a swath of tech companies like Uber Technologies Inc., telecom providers Iliad SA and Vodafone Group Plc, and cryptocurrency companies like Coinbase, Inc.PayPal, Inc., one of the original members, confirmed it had left the organization on Oct. 4.In a statement, Brown, the senior Democrat on the Banking Committee, and Schatz, a panel member, said they pointed out in the letter that “Congress, financial regulators, and potential Libra Association member companies have struggled to get sufficient details from Facebook about risks that Libra may pose, including facilitating criminal and terrorist financing, destabilizing the global financial system, interfering with monetary policy, or exposing consumers to risks currently limited to accredited investors.”“We urge you to carefully consider how your companies will manage these risks before proceeding, given that Facebook has not yet demonstrated to Congress, financial regulators — and perhaps not even to your companies — that it is taking these risks seriously,” they said in the letter.“Facebook,” the senators added, “is currently struggling to tackle massive issues, such as privacy violations, disinformation, election interference, discrimination, and fraud, and it has not demonstrated an ability to bring those failures under control.”“You should be concerned,” Brown and Schatz said, “that any weaknesses in Facebook’s risk management systems will become weaknesses in your systems that you may not be able to effectively mitigate.”Spokesmen for Mastercard, Visa and Stripe declined to comment. Facebook referred a request for comment to the Libra Association.“The Libra Association maintains its commitment to not launch until questions and concerns by regulators are addressed,” Libra Association spokesman Dante Disparte said in a statement. “This is enshrined in our long launch runway, which has helped inform regulators, policy makers and other stakeholders around the world about our commitment to responsible financial innovation and strong oversight.”Disparte said more than 1,500 organizations have reached out to the association about joining.In July, both Republican and Democratic senators had pointed questions for Facebook at a Banking Committee hearing over its digital currency plans. That session reflected the skepticism across Washington and underscoring the challenges the company faces in getting Libra off the ground.(Adds comment from Libra Association in third from last paragraph.)\--With assistance from Kurt Wagner, Julie Verhage and Jenny Surane.To contact the reporters on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Washington at email@example.com;Joe Light in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Seth Stern at email@example.com, Sara FordenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Cash flow is one of the most significant challenges facing a small business’ growth. In fact, 69% of small business owners have been kept up at night about issues related to cash flow and 61% of businesses have regular issues with cash flow1. In an effort to continue to solve cash flow issues for small business owners, Intuit Inc. (INTU) QuickBooks today announced Instant Deposit, a new feature that enables real-time2 disbursements for small business owners using QuickBooks Payments to directly access funds with their eligible debit card using Visa Direct, Visa’s (NYSE:V) real-time3 push payments solution.
(Bloomberg) -- PayPal Holdings Inc.’s decision to pull out of the Libra Association may lead to more congressional hearings from critics seeking to press the payments company for more details on why it walked away, according to Cowen.A push for hearings may intensify further if Libra -- Facebook Inc.’s effort to develop a digital currency -- were to lose other members, analyst Jaret Seiberg wrote. Not only has Facebook failed to win Washington’s “buy in,” it’s also lost support and the “messaging war,” he said. And Seiberg warned that other backers may join PayPal in retreating rather than “risk getting pulled into the policy fights over privacy and private currencies.”PayPal pared losses of as much as 2% as Facebook declined as much as much as 1.1%. Meanwhile other Libra backers -- Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. -- both fell more than 1.7% before paring some of the drop. Financials declined across the board, along with the broader market, as analysts fretted about banks’ prospects and trade tensions flared.On Monday, Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucette described PayPal’s decision as wise. “While we believe it made sense for PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard to initially participate in Libra to defend their flanks and maintain optionality, the amount of political attention Libra has received has made the opportunity less attractive,” Faucette wrote.Cowen’s Seiberg has consistently doubted Facebook’s ability to secure the necessary regulatory approvals as the social media company is “framing Libra as an independent entity that will control the transaction data of users.” Big partners exiting may mean it will be “harder to convince policymakers that Libra is independent of Facebook.” He expects Facebook will stay in the spotlight and will face mounting scrutiny as the 2020 election approaches.Separately, Height Capital Markets in a note said that “one withdrawal does not doom Libra, but if there is a cascade of departures the Libra project may collapse before it can launch.” The firm also saw regulators’ focus on financial stability as “overstated,” as Libra won’t be issuing any country’s currency or debt, but will convert a given currency into Libra currency, and Libra will be “backed by a basket of short term debt instruments issued by sovereign nations.”Earlier, Loop Capital analyst Alan Gould wrote that Libra “will likely take much longer than initially anticipated” and more government regulation and fines could be on the way.\--With assistance from Cristin Flanagan.To contact the reporter on this story: Felice Maranz in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at email@example.com, Will DaleyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
PayPal announced its withdrawal from the 28-member team of Facebook's Libra Project. Libra has received criticism from the public and private sectors.
Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) will report its fiscal fourth quarter and full-year 2019 financial results on Thursday, October 24, 2019. The results, along with accompanying financial information, will be released after market close and posted on the Visa Investor Relations website. Visa’s executive management team will then host a live audio webcast beginning at 2:00 p.m. Pacific Time (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time) to discuss financial results and business highlights.
(Bloomberg) -- Four payments companies that have joined Facebook Inc. as founding members of the Libra Association are wavering over whether to officially sign on to the cryptocurrency project, according to people familiar with the matter.Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc., PayPal Holdings Inc. and Stripe Inc. are undecided about formally signing onto Libra’s organizing charter because they’re concerned about maintaining positive relationships with regulators who have reservations about the project, the people said.Executives at the payments companies believe Facebook oversold the extent to which regulators were comfortable with the project and are concerned about the perception the social network hasn’t behaved responsibly in other areas -- such as how it has handled user data and privacy, the people said.The Libra Association is asking the 28 founding members to reaffirm their commitment to the cryptocurrency project later this month, according to three people familiar with the matter. Before Libra was unveiled, the companies signed nonbinding letters of intent to explore joining the association.David Marcus, the Facebook executive leading the Libra effort, tweeted Wednesday that the “[first] wave of Libra Association members will be formalized in the weeks to come.” Marcus said he was unaware of any current Libra partners who might abstain from officially joining the organization, but building a new global currency is “hard and requires courage.”“I can tell you that we’re very calmly, and confidently working through the legitimate concerns that Libra has raised by bringing conversations about the value of digital currencies to the forefront,“ he added.Companies that officially join the charter won’t be obligated to immediately contribute an initial $10 million required to invest in the project, according to two of the people. The option to delay the payment reflects the association’s strategy to move the Libra project forward in baby steps, the people said. That would give members more time to work out how their participation might affect the rest of their companies’ operations and regulatory obligations, they said.The signing of the charter could take place as soon as Oct. 14, three people said, and will likely happen in Switzerland, where the nonprofit organization charged with managing the Libra digital currency reserve and global payments network would be headquartered.“Nothing has changed with our involvement with Libra since we came on to participate,” said a Stripe spokesman. “We agreed to work on the charter with these other participants. We continue to work on the charter. We’re still actively involved.” He declined to comment specifically on whether Stripe has hesitations about signing the charter.Spokesmen for Facebook, Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and the Libra Association declined to comment.The move to get Libra members to formally sign on is the latest indication that Facebook and its partners are pushing forward with the controversial plan, even after it came under fire from policy makers around the world.Facebook has said repeatedly that the Libra Association will be responsible for making decisions about the currency, so its formal creation could mean that regulators start to get better answers than Facebook has offered so far.Some European finance ministers have threatened to ban Libra in their respective countries and the European Union’s antitrust chief says she’s taken the unusual step of scrutinizing Libra because of the risk it could lead to the creation of a new, entirely separate economy.Meanwhile, development of the technology to underpin Libra is moving faster than internal deadlines, Diogo Monica, co-founder of Anchorage, a technology company that safeguards cryptocurrencies, said in a phone interview. Five association members including Anchorage and Facebook’s digital wallet subsidiary Calibra are already running a test network of nodes, and sending transactions -- not done with real money for now -- to each other, he said.Libra has started addressing regulators’ concerns by making tweaks to its technology and policies, such as its anti-money-laundering policies, Monica added. Hundreds of organizations are on a waiting list hoping to join the association, Monica said, but no additional members have been admitted yet, he said.Opponents of the plan say Libra, which would be backed by a pool of traditional currencies, could undercut countries’ monetary policies or be used for nefarious purposes. U.S. lawmakers this summer grilled Marcus, questioning whether Facebook could be trusted to expand into financial services. Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg last month told senators that the currency wouldn’t launch anywhere in the world without U.S. regulators’ blessing.Facebook announced the project in June to make international payments as simple as texting. It draws on big names in the payments, technology, telecom and blockchain industries, including EBay Inc., Uber Technologies Inc., blockchain startups Coinbase Inc. and Xapo Inc., and Vodafone Group Plc, as well as venture capital companies and non-profit organizations.Why Everybody (Almost) Hates Facebook’s Digital Coin: QuickTakeEven as Facebook has publicly drawn fire, the Libra organization’s members have worked in the background to hash out details of a chartering document to formally establish the non-profit so that the group’s work to stand up the payments system can move forward.The work has proven contentious due to continued uncertainty about the regulatory implications of the project, according to two of the people.“Since June the Association has met with numerous regulators and policy makers,” said Dante Disparte, a spokesman for the Libra Association, in an email. “Additionally the group of founding members have held regular meetings to discuss appropriate regulatory requirements for operating a payment system, as well as conforming to anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism, privacy and other standards.”(Updates with comment from the Libra Association in the last paragraph.)\--With assistance from Olga Kharif and Kurt Wagner.To contact the reporters on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Arlington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Joe Light in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Mark Niquette, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The following are the top stories in the Wall Street Journal. - Johnson & Johnson said it has agreed to a $20.4 million deal to avoid a coming trial accusing the company of helping spark an opioid-addiction crisis in two Ohio counties. - WeWork's parent The We Company's new management team is considering expansion plans in China as part of the its new emphasis on controlling costs.
US Economy Stalling, But Economists Say That’s Fine According to the latest divinations by the nation’s mainstream economists, the economy may look like it’s stalling, but it’s really OK because the so-called “stall speed” of the economy has supposedly declined. Meaning, the US economy can continue to creep along very slowly without tipping into recession. […]The post Market Morning: Economy Stalling, Libra Letdown, J&J Settles, Impeachment Heats Up appeared first on Market Exclusive.
Everyone from Google to Apple is expanding within fintech. So is now the time to buy PayPal (PYPL) or Square (SQ) stock on the dip?