What We’ve Learned From Libra | PYMNTS.com

Karen Webster
12 min readOct 7, 2019

PayPal officially pulled its support of Facebook’s Libra initiative after it no-showed at the Libra Association meeting last week in Washington, D.C. PayPal’s endorsement of the Libra mission, signed by CEO Dan Schulman when Libra was officially unveiled in June, has also been removed from the Libra site.

It probably won’t be long before others follow.

Before the launch of Libra a few short months ago in June of 2019, the 28 (now 27) founding members of the Libra Association committed nothing more than to show up at a meeting to hear more about Libra’s plans at some point in the future. A $10 million payment to remain a founding member would come sometime after that meeting took place — before the end of the year, it was said.

Last week’s meeting was presumably an important milestone to keep the 27 remaining founding members in the boat — and motivated enough to open their checkbooks in the next three months to make that $10 million down payment on the Libra vision.

In addition to getting an update on Libra’s progress (now four months after its public debut and reaction), it is likely that Libra executives were pressed hard on how it will address the concerns of global regulators — who have largely thrown up the idea that Libra, and Facebook, even getting close to running a parallel global payments network and monetary system using its rails and “currency” is a big non-starter.

What has happened four months after the official launch of Libra was highly predictable — and a path that I laid out in the 10 pages I published the day the news broke.

Instead of piling on, though, I’d rather be constructive and lay out what we’ve learned from the Libra experience that may be helpful to other innovators who have big ideas to change the world.

And how everyone can use those lessons to reliably predict failure for future payments efforts.

One: Solve a Solvable Problem

Bloomberg published an Index last week that measures the relative wealth of people based on a…

Karen Webster


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