Checkout.com Joins Facebook’s Libra Project

Asia Blockchain Review
May 11, 2020

The digital currency initiative set up by Facebook last year was not exactly well-received by global policymakers. The project recently got revised substantially, and it’s now proposing several currency-backed stable-coins and one single multi-currency token. According to a recent report from CNBC, British-based Checkout.com is now the first payments firm to join the Libra Association since Visa, MasterCard and Stripe pulled out over regulatory concerns. It seems that other firms such as e-commerce giant Shopify, non-profit organization Heifer International and cryptocurrency brokerage Tagomi are also jumping on the Libra bandwagon.

Empowering Billions

The Libra Association’s mission was to enable a simple global payment system and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people. The Association’s first step toward creating a more inclusive and innovative financial system began in June 2019 with the announcement of the project. The Association’s goal was never to emulate other systems, but rather to leverage the innovative approach of using distributed governance through Association Members and distributed technology to create an open and trustworthy system.Checkout.com CEO and co-founder Guillaume Pousaz wrote in a blog post about the new partnership. He cites the pivotal role that payments play in modern society. The company has always been about optimizing payments functions and driving operational efficiencies. “We are technologists at heart and have always been fascinated by blockchain and the potential benefits it could bring to global transaction processing,” he said. 

 

The Greater Good

Pousaz went on to say that the Libra Association has demonstrated a thoughtful and realistic approach to how blockchain can be leveraged for the greater good. He is of the opinion that the project holds the promise of increasing financial inclusion for billions of un-banked people, empowering them to participate in the digital economy and reducing disparities. Talking to industry press, Dante Disparte, the head of policy and communications at the Libra Association is of course excited that Checkout.com has decided to come on as a member. “The organization joins a dynamic and growing 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,” Disparte said in a statement emailed to CNBC. In related news, Checkout.com, announced the acquisition of technology startup ProcessOut. This represents the first acquisition for the London-based financial technology firm and follows their 2019 announcement of a record-breaking $230 million Series A funding round. This valued the company at nearly $2 billion, in Europe’s largest fintech Series A round ever. 

Stablecoins And Single Multi-Currency Tokens 

The Libra Association is proposing to launch several so-called “stablecoins” which will be pegged to different government currencies. The group also intends to launch single, multi-currency Libra tokens too. It is also believed that the association will ditch the plan for a ‘permissionless’ blockchain system, in favour of a more centralized structure that will be governed by its 24 members. Ultimately, the tie-up between Checkout.com and the Libra Association is to enable a simple global payment system and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people. With more than 1.7 billion people who are either unbanked or under-banked around the world, large-scale innovation that promotes financial inclusion, compliance, and competition could help those who need it the most.

Sources: Checkout, CNBC, and Libra


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