Blockchain Capital becomes latest member of Facebook-backed Libra group

September 18, 2020.

Blockchain Capital, a venture capital firm focusing on crypto technologies, has joined forces with the Facebook-backed as the group continues working to develop and manage a new digital currency.

The Libra Association said Friday that Blockchain Capital has been named its 28th member, and plans to bring “dynamic industry insight and a dynamic network of supporters” to the project, which has attracted the attention of monetary policymakers around the globe.

San Francisco-based Blockchain Capital manages more than $300 million in assets and holds investments in major cryptocurrency companies such as Coinbase and Ripple Labs.

“We’re honored to join the Libra Association and believe deeply in the mission of creating a more equitable payment system,” said Bart Stephens, co-founder and managing partner of Blockchain Capital. “Leveraging blockchain technology to improve financial access and promote innovation has been at the core of Blockchain Capital’s portfolio strategy.”

Facebook founded the Libra Association in June 2019 with the ambition to launch a globally present digital currency called Libra with the backing of 100 business members. The initiative came under swift criticism from global policymakers, and in April it was scaled back to put less emphasis on Libra and additionally trade coins tied to local currencies.

Following the departures of digital payment heavyweights including Mastercard, Visa and PayPal from the Libra Association in October, the organization has since brought on several new members. They include Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings as well as technology investment funds Paradigm and Slow Ventures, which were all announced as members in May.

The other members range from venture-capital firm Andreessen Horowitz to cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase to ride-share companies Uber and Lyft.

The Geneva-based organization has also been on a hiring spree to fill out several leadership positions in the second half of this year. On Thursday, the Libra Association hired a former executive of British bank HSBC, James Emmett, to lead its crypto payments division, and in May it named Stuart Levey, also from HSBC, as its first CEO.