Shopify Libra

Shopify announced today it is joining the Facebook championed digital currency Libra Association as it seeks “…to build a payment network that makes money easier to access and supports merchants and consumers everywhere.”

The Libra association was formed with a big splash in mid-2019 and counted among its members a slew of online giants in the payments and tech world.

However, since then, Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Booking Holdings, eBay, Stripe, and Mercado Pago all pulled out as the project faced mounting criticism from not having a clear business model to major regulatory hurdles.

But today, the project got a bit of a shot in the arm with the Shopify announcement. Shopify may not be a Visa, Mastercard, or PayPal, but the online commerce platform is growing by leaps and bounds.

Shopify Seeking Solutions to Reduce Friction in International Commerce

Shopify, in its announcement, said that because commerce is becoming 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.”

As the company strives to “make commerce better for everyone,” it is looking at innovative solutions to solve financial and payment problems, especially in the underbanked parts of the world.

If Libra will ever see the light of the day or become a de facto global currency for commerce is subject to debate.

The original plan appeared to call for a mid-2020 launch. Yet, Facebook’s CEO Zuckerberg seemed to step away from that commitment just a few months after the project was announced.

For today, Shopify is on-board with the Libra project, “We’re excited to be part of the Libra Association and look forward to how the project may improve commerce everywhere.”

And for the Libra project, having Shopify on-board is a small win that, at minimum, brings another forward-thinking member in the association.

Do you think digital currencies have a future in online commerce?

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