30.10.2020

British Payment Firm Checkout.​com Joins the Libra Association

British payment startup Checkout.com has joined the Libra Association, becoming the 24th member engaged with the mission of building a better global payment network, Libra tweeted on April 28.

In a fresh move to revive Facebook-backed digital currency project Libra, the Libra Association has onboarded another member.

Tech advancements would fail without necessary regulatory frameworks

Guillaume Pousaz, Checkout.com founder and CEO, officially announced the news in a company statement on Tuesday. The executive outlined that Checkout.com joins Libra’s efforts to not only promote technological advancement but contribute to the formation of necessary regulatory framework to drive mass adoption of better payment solutions.

Pousaz argued that without such regulation framework, the technological breakthrough is not possible:

“Regulation should form an integral part of any resulting framework, given its unique ability to protect the ecosystem from systemic abuses. Absent of such regulation, it is our fundamental belief that the technological advancements alone would fail to provide the secure and stable payments infrastructure required to drive mass adoption, impeding its progress.”

The Checkout.com CEO continued to say that the firm has joined the Libra Association because the digital currency project can open finance to billions of unbanked people. Pousaz added that Libra’s principles come in line with Checkout.com’s mission to change the way that businesses interact with financial services for the better.

Visa and Mastercard previously abandoned Libra amid regulatory hurdles

Checkout.com’s entrance to the Libra Association comes after a series of departures from the group by top payment firms including Visa and Mastercard. In October 2019, Visa, EBay, Stripe and Mastercard abandoned Facebook’s digital project Libra amid increased regulatory concerns.

Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga eventually argued that the firm decided to leave the Libra project because the firm’s key members refused to commit to “not do anything that is not fully compliant with local law.”

Coitnelegraph asked Checkout.com to comment on Libra’s late 2019 departures but did not receive an immediate response. This story will be updated should they respond.

Libra reinforces its efforts to launch the project in Q4 2020

Despite multiple departures, the Libra Association has been reinforcing its commitment to launch a global payment network so far. In mid-April 2020, Libra applied for a payment license from a major Swiss regulator, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). In conjunction with the application, the Libra Association has also made several major alterations to its white paper in an apparent effort to move forward with the project.

Since announcing the FINMA application news, Libra has been pushing the project even harder. On April 20, the Libra Association was joined by non-profit organization Heifer International. The Libra project is also apparently preparing to significantly expand its team in 2020 as Libra’s  digital wallet Calibra is also looking to create 50 new roles for its workforce in Ireland.

Earlier today, the Libra Association’s vice chair Dante Disparte said that the Libra project continues to rely on blockchain technology and is expected to launch in Q4 2020.

Broadway’s Biggest Ticket Operator to Use IBM Blockchain Against Scams

Broadway’s largest ticket operator, the Shubert Organization, is integrating a blockchain solution into its business in a forthcoming pilot targeted at combating ticket fraud.

The organization, via its Telecharge and Shubert Ticketing division, has partnered with Boston-based startup True Tickets, which offers an IBM blockchain-powered mobile ticketing solution. News of the partnership was revealed in an Oct. 16 report from Fast Company.

Combating ticket fraud with blockchain

True Tickets, which was selected to take part in this summer’s inaugural Broadway Tech Accelerator, will see its digital ticketing service integrated into components of the organization’s ticket sales businesses, including Telecharge.com and its group discounts service Broadway Inbound.

True Tickets CEO Matt Zarracina has said the pilot enables the startup to implement its blockchain solution for the benefit of clients as part of a “massive multichannel marketplace.”

As Fast Company notes, Broadway – as many entertainment industries – is plagued by ticketing scams, such as the resale of fake or duplicate tickets. Therefore, it is hoped that blockchain can go some way toward restoring transparency for businesses and consumers.

Prior initiatives

In fall 2018, Cointelegraph reported on the acquisition of blockchain-focused live events firm Upgraded by global ticketing giant Ticketmaster. At the time, Ticketmaster said it planned to digitize traditional tickets into interactive units protected by blockchain technology via encrypted barcodes in a bid to combat fraud.

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