E-commerce giant Shopify has joined the Libra Association, a network of founding members supporting Facebook's stablecoin project Libra.
Shopify, a major Canada-based digital commerce platform hosting more than one million merchants, will be collaborating on the establishment of a global payment network within the Libra Association, the firm officially announced on Feb. 21.
The Libra Foundation has confirmed the news in a Facebook post, outlining that Shopify would be an “incredible partner in making widespread economic participation a reality.”
Shopify believes that traditional financial system wasn’t built for Internet commerce
In the announcement, Shopify claimed that its action to join the network comes in line with the company’s desire to tackle the unsolved problem of cross-border payments. According to the company, “much of the world’s financial infrastructure was not built to handle the scale and needs of internet commerce.”
Shopify further emphasized that as a major global e-commerce platform, the company should challenge existing standards in the global payment system in order to bring “transparent fees and easy access to capital,” while ensuring the security and privacy of merchants.
“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.”
Shopify’s entrance to the Libra Association comes after a series of departures from the group by major global firms, which many associated with increased concerns of global regulators.
Cointelegraph asked both the Libra Association and Shopify about the potential implications of the new addition to Libra’s founding group but did not receive an immediate response. This article will be updated if new comments come in.
Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications at the Libra Association, noted in an email to Cointelegraph that the addition of Shopify brings significant expertise as a multinational commerce platform with over a million businesses in about 175 countries. Disparte said:
“Shopify joins an active group of Libra Association members committed to achieving a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of a global payment system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people.”
Many months of Libra
Officially released in June 2019, Libra has not only become subject of intensified regulatory concern over the globe but also turned out to be a major trigger for the world to start reconsidering the United States dollar as anchor currency. Some global banks admitted that Facebook’s Libra pushed central banks to seriously look into digital currency initiatives like central bank digital currencies.
However, a number of big companies like Visa, EBay, Stripe and Mastercard decided to leave the Libra Foundation amid the regulatory uncertainty behind the project, which originally received support from dozens of major companies. As Facebook originally prospected, the Libra Foundation should have around 100 members by the time of Libra’s launch in the first half of 2020. According to Libra website, Shopify has become the 21th member of the Libra Foundation.
Meanwhile, existing uncertainty over Libra has been increasing even more with the European Union recently claiming that it still cannot figure out what to do about Libra. Previously, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg himself declared that he didn’t know whether Libra would eventually work.
Disclaimer: This article was updated to specify a commentary by Libra Foundation’s head of policy and communications Dante Disparte and to indicate that Shopify is the 21th member of the Libra Foundation.