Shopify announced today that it has joined the Facebook-founded Libra Association, becoming the first new member of the organization since it was officially unveiled with 21 other partners last October.
As the latest member of the Libra Association, the e-commerce giant will work collectively to build a payment network that supports consumers and merchants while making money easier to access, the company noted in a blog post.
“We are proud to welcome Shopify to the Libra Association. As a multinational commerce platform with over one million businesses in approximately 175 countries, Shopify brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Libra project” wrote Dante Disparte, the Libra Association’s head of policy and communications, on LinkedIn. “Shopify joins an active group of Libra Association members committed to achieving a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of a global payment system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people.”
Steven Eliscu, executive vice-president of DMG Blockchain Solutions, had described Libra as the evolution of PayPal, in an interview with IT Business Canada last year. Eliscu said this is evident in how Facebook wants its new cryptocurrency to be easier to use with fewer fees and more accessible for the people without bank accounts.
“We think it’s great. People have, for years, been trying to shoehorn Bitcoin as a medium of exchange,” Eliscu told the publication after Facebook revealed the details of its digital currency. “This idea of having an in-network payment system that is tied to fiat – it makes total sense.”
With online commerce becoming increasingly borderless, much of the world’s financial infrastructure fails to handle the growing needs and scale of internet commerce. Payments of goods is still not a solved problem everywhere. Shopify said it has joined the Libra Association in an attempt to make all types of commerce better.
“This is one step, but not the only step we’ll be taking to be a part of the solution to this global problem,” indicated Disparte.
The Libra Association last year said that over 1,500 organizations had shown their interest in joining the Libra project initiative, but only 180 of those organizations were able to meet the preliminary membership criteria established by the association.
The official launch of Facebook’s permissioned blockchain digital currency is planned for sometime this year.