The CEO and board chairman of Visa, Alfred F. Kelly, Jr. has mentioned that none of the backers of Libra are official partners yet. Bryan C. Keane, an analyst at Deutsche Bank Securities asked a question in the Q3 2019 earnings call, about the “level of expected Visa involvement in Facebook Libra.” Kelly in his answer, remarked that, “So we have signed a nonbinding letter of intent to join Libra. We’re one of – I think it’s 27 companies that have expressed that interest. So, no one has yet officially joined.”
Further to the comment, Kelly also mentioned that Visa’s decision to join the Facebook Libra project will be influenced by a “number of factors, including obviously the ability of the association to satisfy all the requisite regulatory requirements.” He specified that it is still too early to finalise the issues regarding Libra as much development is still in progress. In his conclusion, he added a positive note buy mentioning that, “But obviously, given that we’ve expressed interest, we actually believe we could be additive and helpful in the association.”
Libra has 27 launch partners which include some of the top brands like Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Uber, Lyft and Coinbase. Last June, a New York Times article mentioned that the seven firms associated with Libra have signed nonbinding agreements with Facebook.
Earlier this month the regulatory requirements related to Libra was also discussed in the U.S congressional hearings. Facebook’s crypto chief David Marcus faced tough questioning from the lawmakers at a House Financial Services Committee regarding the launch of Libra. Anti-Bitcoin Congressman Brad Sherman remarked that Libra “…is an attempt to transfer enormous power from America to Facebook and a number of their allies.” He also called for Mark Zuckerberg to face the Congress to answer questions regarding the issue. Marcus was also asked questions about how the organisations apart from Facebook who are in the governing body of Libra were chosen.
The lawmakers also expressed their concerns over the impact that Libra might have on the US dollar. It is not clear whether the U.S congressional hearings has any impact on the clarifications made by Kelly in playing down the involvement Visa with the Libra project. Since the announcement about Libra, Facebook has been defending itself from various voices who raised concerns about the effects of Libra on overall financial stability and user privacy.
With a lot of scepticism clouding the Libra issue, it is clear that the Facebook team has plenty of work in their hands to sort out the details.