Libra Association Advances, Member Organizations’ Loss Notwithstanding

Libra Association

The Libra Association held an important meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in order to establish a formal governance structure. This article presents the highlights of this meeting.

Facebook told us that the Libra Association is an independent not-for-profit membership organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and that there were 28 founding members (“a group of diverse organizations from around the world”).

Since then however there has been heavy regulatory pressure on Facebook and the Libra Association, especially in United States and this has resulted in seven of the initial 28 member organizations dropping out of the Facebook-led project over the past two weeks. The first member to quit was PayPal on October 4th followed by Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe, and Mercado Pago. Yesterday, Booking Holdings, the leader in online travel became the seventh company to withdraw from the Libra Association.

However on Monday 21st October 2019, The Libra Association charter was officially signed onto by 21 organisations including Uber, Coinbase, Vodafone, and Lyft. The inaugural meetings of both the association’s members and board were held in Geneva, Switzerland.

By signing onto the Libra charter, representatives from the 21 organisations became the initial members of the Libra Council, the body responsible for the governance of the Libra Association.

In the meeting, the Libra Council also “appointed a board of directors,” a Libra Association press release stated. The board—the size of which is fixed at five members are:

  • Matthew Davie (Kiva Microfunds);
  • Patrick Ellis (PayU);
  • Katie Haun (Andreessen Horowitz);
  • David Marcus (Calibra, Inc.); and
  • Wences Casares (Xapo Holdings Limited)

The board of directors then agreed on the initial staff for the Association:

  • Chief Operating Officer and (interim) Managing Director: Bertrand Perez
  • Head of Policy and Communications: Dante Disparte
  • Head of Business Development: Kurt Hemecker

The press release added that since being announced in June, “the Libra Association confirmed that over 1,500 entities have indicated interest in joining the Libra project effort, and approximately 180 entities have met the preliminary membership criteria,”

David Marcus, co-creator of Libra and the Head of the Calibra project, had this to say on Twitter after yesterday’s meeting:

“1/ Awesome day today at our inaugural Libra Association member council! It was energizing to see reps from many different industries, and interests come together with one mission at heart, improve access and lower costs to digital money and financial services for everyone.”

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