Leading online travel company Booking Holdings has ditched the Libra Association, the governing consortium of Facebook’s proposed Libra stablecoin.
Booking Holdings has thus become the latest in an array of companies that abandoned the project, leaving it with 21 founding members out of the initial 28 organizations, Bloomberg reported on Oct. 14.
Booking Holdings — which stands behind travel sites booking.com, priceline.com, agoda.com and Kayak, among others — became a founding member of the Libra Association in June. In August, Booking Holdings CEO Glenn Fogel said that he believes that blockchain-based currencies will continue to grow and could become more popular.
At the time, Fogel predicted that cash will be rarely used in the future, adding that he sees the potential for a new form of global currency that is protected and secure:
“When Bitcoin became well known, many questioned its legitimacy, and while the jury is still out on the future of Bitcoin, I do believe currencies with a blockchain base will continue to surface and may become more widely accepted across the globe, especially outside the U.S., which has a well-accepted credit card payment system.”
The move comes ahead of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony on Libra before the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee on Oct. 23. Announcing the meeting, Congresswoman Maxine Waters mentioned the draft bill “Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act,” which is designed to ban large tech firms from getting licensed as financial institutions in the United States.
Previously, Calibra wallet CEO David Marcus testified before the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee in regard to Libra’s development and its features. Marcus claimed that Facebook intends to be compliant with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in distributing Libra.
However, some lawmakers met Marcus’ statements with skepticism and concern. Earlier today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin attributed the recent spate of firms abandoning Facebook’s Libra stablecoin project to regulatory concerns, although some industry stakeholders believe that policymakers pressured companies to leave the project.