US-based payments firm PayPal has announced its withdrawal from the Libra Association, which is a Facebook-backed cryptocurrency initiative.

PayPal did not divulge the reason behind its decision to leave the project, but said that will the company continue to support Libra’s objectives.

A statement from PayPal read: “PayPal has made the decision 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 democratise access to financial services for underserved populations.

“We remain supportive of Libra’s aspirations and look forward to continued dialogue on ways to work together in the future.”

Facebook announced the Libra cryptocurrency project in June this year. The digital currency will be backed by a blockchain and a digital wallet, named Calibra, developed by Facebook.

The company revealed plans to launch the cryptocurrency next year.

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Libra is set to be serviced by the 28-member Switzerland-based Libra Association, which includes PayPal Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Uber, Spotify and Vodafone.

PayPal is the first member to exit the coalition after the project started facing challenges from the regulators worldwide. Last month, France and Germany announced plans to block Libra operations in Europe.

Earlier this month, Wall Street Journal reported that Visa and Mastercard are also reconsidering their role in the Libra project.

The Libra Association said that it will hold the first Libra Council meeting on 14 October and 1,500 entities have shown interest to participate.