Facebook's Libra support shrinks further as Priceline owner jumps ship
By Tom Wilson LONDON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's Libra cryptocurrency faced a pivotal meeting of backers on Monday, after the ambitious project to bring digital coins into mainstream commerce suffered another defection, from online travel company Booking Holding. The owner of Priceline, Kayak and Booking.com, on Monday confirmed that it had pulled out of the group.
By Tom Wilson
LONDON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's
The owner of Priceline, Kayak and Booking.com, on Monday confirmed that it had pulled out of the group.
Libra lost its last global payments backers on Friday, when Mastercard Inc
The exodus followed warnings from politicians and regulators, from the United States to Europe, that Libra risked upsetting global financial stability, undermining users' privacy and facilitating money laundering.
The latest withdrawals followed the departure of PayPal Holdings Inc
At the meeting, which will take place in Geneva, members will agree interim articles of association, said a spokesman for Vodafone Group Plc
Articles of association are typically written rules that lay out how a company or organisation is governed.
The Libra Association will also appoint a board at the meeting, the Wall Street Journal reported this month.
A spokeswoman for the Libra Association declined to comment on the meeting.
The group said this month that it would give details after the meeting of the 1,500 entities that have indicated interest in the project.
The association, whose remaining 21 members include ride-hailing firms Uber Technologies Inc
But the departure of major financial firms means Facebook's Libra can no longer count on a global player to help consumers turn their currency into Libra and facilitate transactions. This presents a new stumbling block for Libra's efforts to convince regulators and politicians about the coin's safety.
France pledged last month to block Libra from operating in Europe, while the Bank of England laid out high hurdles it must meet before its launch. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has also suggested the project could not advance before concerns were assuaged.
Libra, announced as Facebook expands into e-commerce, will be backed by a reserve of real-world assets, including bank deposits and short-term government securities, and overseen by the Libra Association.
The structure is intended to foster trust and stabilise the price volatility that plagues cryptocurrencies and renders them impractical for commerce and payments.
(Reporting by Tom Wilson; additional reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bangalore and Peter Henderson in San Francisco; Editing by Pravin Char and Lisa Shumaker)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.