Facebook’s effort to set up the Libra Association, which it hopes will be an independent consortium of companies that financially back and govern the Libra digital currency, has hit another setback before even getting off the ground.
Simon Morris, the Libra Association’s head of product, quietly left the group in August, as first reported by The Telegraph. Morris was previously an executive at BitTorrent, where he ran its nascent efforts to create a cryptocurrency. The details of why he left Libra aren’t currently known, and the Libra Association declined to comment.
As The Information previously reported, the handful of people who already work at the Libra Association have been placed in their roles (and paid) by Facebook while the initial group of financial backers is confirmed and a managing director of the group is elected. The setting up of the Libra Association is being led by David Marcus, who is over a group inside Facebook that is developing a digital wallet to use the currency across Facebook’s services.
Even still, the Libra Association losing its head of product before the organization is officially formed signals how difficult it’s been for Facebook to will this project into existence. PayPal recently confirmed that it’s backing out of its pledge to join the Libra Association after intense regulatory pushback, and other companies may follow suit. Next up: a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on October 14 for would-be Libra Association members to hash out key details and likely air some grievances.