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Shopify joins Facebook-backed digital currency group Libra Association

Last Updated Feb 21, 2020 at 1:15 pm CDT

The Ottawa headquarters of Canadian e-commerce company Shopify are pictured on Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Shopify Inc. says it it has become a member of the Facebook Inc.-backed group working on a worldwide digital currency. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

OTTAWA — Shopify Inc. says it has become a member of the controversial, Facebook Inc.-led group working on a worldwide digital currency.

The Ottawa-based e-commerce company says it has joined the Libra Association, a non-profit organization Facebook co-founded to run the currency.

Shopify says it wanted to be part of the project because the company spends a lot of time thinking about how to make commerce and banking better and believes that building a new payment network will make money easier to access.

Ride-sharing giants Uber Technologies Co. and Lyft Inc., music platform Spotify Technology S.A. and even the Canada-based Creative Destruction Lab are already involved in the association.

Since Facebook revealed in 2018 that it wanted to create a private currency system that would allow users to easily make cross-border payments, the project has attracted privacy concerns and calls for more clarity and oversight.

Amid such criticism, Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Stripe and PayPal all backed out of the association.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 21, 2020.

Companies in this story: (TSX:SHOP)

The Canadian Press