Yesterday, Fortune magazine published an article some of the conversations their reporters and editors had with PayPal CEO Dan Schulman when he stopped by their office. Talking on cryptocurrencies the CEO confessed that he was hodling Bitcoin only. Among many other topics, one of the main concerns of reporter Polina Marinova was about PayPal’s disassociation from The Libra Association.
The payment processing company was one of the well-known among 28 companies that had agreed to become part of The Libra Association back in June. PayPal, among other companies like Visa, MasterCard, and Coinbase, had agreed to provide services in the financial and payment sector of the project. However, the enthusiasm PayPal had shown back then, vanished earlier than anyone had imagined and by October it withdrew from the association, too without citing any specific reason. The only official statement it gave then, was;
..to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations.
Dan Schulman elaborated in the interview:
When David Marcus [Facebook’s head of Libra] came to talk to us about Libra initially, he framed it in ways that were appealing to us about financial inclusion. We’re always exploring the next generation of technologies — like blockchain infrastructure to do things more efficiently. And you know, we’d like to learn more about it. All of us were interested in learning more. As we learned more about [Libra] and saw the number of things that were still left to do and the number of things we still had to do on our own roadmap outside of Libra, we said, “You know, we think if we focus on our own roadmap, we’d be able to advance financial inclusion faster than if we put all these resources against Libra.”
He further went along to say that there wasn’t any disagreement about anything, or the divorce wasn’t bitter. He says that his company will be keeping an eye on The Libra Project and if there is something PayPal could provide, they wouldn’t miss that opportunity. until then, they believe, its best to work on their companies existing goals, projects and services.
When questioned about the fear of regulatory scrutiny, Dan replied.
Regulatory and compliance, for us, is foundational. But we have an extremely robust relationship with every regulator out there. We are extremely trusted on that. That wasn’t really what spooked us on it. It was just about, “Where do we want to put our attention, and what do we want to do today to advance our mission?” Once they start figuring things out, we’ll take another look at where they are.
Lastly, when asked about cryptos and what currencies he was holding, he replied simply saying he only owned Bitcoin.