Can Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency survive the exodus?

After the withdrawal of seven of the 29 founding members of the Libra Association, the governing council for Facebook’s planned global cryptocurrency, the project’s fate  looks increasingly uncertain.

PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe, Mercado Pago and Brooking Holdings have backed away from participation on the Libra Association; their hands were forced when  all members met Monday in Switzerland for formalize their commitment to the project.

“In many ways, PayPal, Visa and all the others took the only decision they sensibly could take under the circumstances,” Forrester Vice President of Research Martha Bennett said via email. “Given the continued lack of regulatory engagement…and continued lack of detail on key points around Libra (the coin), governance of the network, management of the fund, etc., the risk of reputational damage was simply too great.”

Beyond those immediate concerns, there is also the potential of inadvertently being drawn into compliance violations in the future – something none of the companies that withdrew would countenance, Bennett added.

Libra is currently scheduled to go live in 2020.

Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for The Libra Association, said via email that the council will not launch the global payment system “until questions and concerns by regulators are addressed.