Vodafone is the latest to leave Facebook's Libra Association

Jon Fingas
Associate Editor
Chesnot via Getty Images

The Facebook-created Libra Association is still bleeding members months after it formalized its council. Telecom giant Vodafone has confirmed to CoinDesk that it left the Association. Unlike past defectors, though, it's not so much about regulatory jitters surrounding the cryptocurrency. Vodafone said it instead wanted to focus on expanding its own payment service, M-Pesa, beyond the six African countries where it's currently available. It's not burning bridges -- the company said it wouldn't rule out the possibility of "future cooperation."

The Libra Association's policy and communications head Dante Disparte remained optimistic in a statement, noting that Libra's governance and underlying tech would help the platform "remain resilient."

This isn't a disaster for Libra, and a CoinDesk source said the Association intended to add members later in 2020. There's a waiting list of more than 1,500 companies. However, this still isn't a resounding vote of confidence in Libra's success. Vodafone clearly thinks it stands a better chance going it alone, and the Association may have to work that much harder to convince other partners to stay aboard as Libra gears up for its eventual launch.