Technology

Booking Holdings pulls support for Facebook’s controversial cryptocurrency project

The parent company of Booking.com, Kayak and Agoda has pulled out of Facebook’s cryptocurrency project.

Booking Holdings, which is reportedly the only travel company among the more than two dozen founding members, has pulled out of The Libra Association, a cryptocurrency project spearheaded by Facebook.

Libra, which aims to be an open and inclusive global currency that allows users to make cross-border payments more easily, has reportedly faced intense scrutiny from regulators around the world.

Booking Holdings had reportedly viewed Libra as an element to enhance its payment systems.

Booking CEO Glenn Fogel told Skift Booking had been invited to be a founding member of Libra, which he referred to as an “alternative payment method” instead of cryptocurrency.

“We looked at what they were talking about, what they were thinking, and we said, yeah, we’d like to have a seat at the table as this develops,” Fogel told Skift. “We don’t know if it’s going to come off the ground or not.”

Fogel said there was a possibility that the Libra Association “will produce something that’s much more efficient for everyone involved”.

He said inefficiencies under the current financial system include credit card fees and fraud costs, adding: “If there is a way that is cheaper, quicker, just so much better, then we’d want to be part of it.”

Fogel said he’d only want Booking Holdings to participate in the endeavour if it were “safe” and “secure” with adequate privacy protections, according to Skift.

Regulators have warned that the cryptocurrency could be used by criminals if not properly monitored, Bloomberg reported, while lawmakers ridiculed Facebook’s track record at hearings in July with Libra co-founder David Marcus.

The exit of Booking Holdings came shortly before the Libra Association convened in Geneva on Monday to finalise its governing charter and initial membership.

The travel company, which generated some US$9.2 billion in revenue last financial year, joins Visa, Mastercard and software company Stripe in leaving the project.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Destinations

Aussie man in intensive care after mob beating in India

Local police are trying to establish whether the 35-year-old Melbournite was “misbehaving” as locals have alleged.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Passengers stuck for hours after Qantas jet makes emergency landing in NZ military base

by Christian Fleetwood

Passengers claim they were forced to wait in the heat for four hours after their Qantas aircraft was forced to make an emergency landing outside of Wellington.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Man dies after falling from cruise ship balcony

A passenger onboard Carnival Horizon has tragically died after falling from a balcony onto the deck below.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise Wrap: Virgin Voyages reveals second ship, CLIA Awards noms closing soon + MORE!

This week’s Cruise Wrap is largely time-sensitive, so quickly slam your shots – espresso or otherwise – and make the most of a deal or two here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hyatt becomes latest hotel multinational to pledge elimination of small plastic bottles

by Christian Fleetwood

After banning single-use plastic straws and drink picks last year, Hyatt has rolled up its sleeves and flexed its sustainability muscles by banning little bottles of shampoo.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

KISS teams up with Airbnb to perform very odd concert for Aussie sharks… but none bother to show up

Do you only read Travel Weekly for the weird and wacky stories? Well, this yarn is sure to have you scratching your head in disbelief.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

STUDY: These are the top travel destinations for Generation Z

Just when you thought you’d gotten your head around Millennial travellers, Generation Z is here to throw a spanner in the works.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Midweek Interview with Pan Pacific Hotels’ Tim Birley

This week, we had a gossip with Pan Pacific Hotels Group’s national business development manager. However, we lost our notes, so got him to fill out our standard interview form instead.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Visit Victoria’s first-ever CEO resigns

Peter Bingeman is already lining up several TV series to binge-watch on Netflix after tendering his resignation as Visit Victoria’s chief.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

All you need to know about Rocky Mountaineer’s levels of luxury service

by Sponsored by Rocky Mountaineer

Consider yourself a connoisseur of luxury railway travel? Here’s more to add to your repertoire, courtesy of Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas nosedives in most trusted brands list

Qantas has suffered another nosedive in a trust poll, but stayed airworthy despite encountering headwinds. Alight, enough with the airline puns.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Travel agency fined $400,000 for targeting and exploiting vulnerable workers

A “recidivist” travel agency has been fined hundreds of thousands of dollars in the Federal Court for exploiting migrant workers.

Share

CommentComments