Shopify becomes the first new Libra Association member in four months, stemming a tide in the opposite direction which has seen Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Stripe, Vodafone, Mercado Paygo, and booking.com all bail on the project.
Explaining its decision to sign on to the stablecoin initiative, Shopify says: “As online commerce becomes increasingly borderless, it’s easy to forget that payments and the value exchange of goods are not a solved problem everywhere. Much of the world’s financial infrastructure was not built to handle the scale and needs of internet commerce.”
One answer to the problem, says the company, could be Libra, helping to make payments easier for merchants and consumers everywhere.
Whether Libra can deliver on this is up in the air; the idea has received pushback from regulators and politicians around the world.
Earlier this week a memo by European Commission executive vice-president, Valdis Dombrovskis emerged suggesting that the EU cannot work out exactly what Libra is and adding that there is a “need to ensure clarity” before the plan can be given any green light.
This came a few weeks after Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg appeared in front of US Congress to answer questions about the social media giant’s plans for the Libra project, where he acknowledged that his organisation is “not the ideal messenger” for a global stablecoin.
The Federal Reserve also issued a warning to Facebook about the high regulatory standards it would need to meet before being able to launch.