E-commerce giant Shopify joins the Libra Association

Shopify, the Canada-based e-commerce giant, said Friday that it is joining the Libra Association. 

In its announcement blog post, Shopify said that "as a member of the Libra Association, we will work collectively to build a payment network that makes money easier to access and supports merchants and consumers everywhere."

"We’re excited to be part of the Libra Association and look forward to how the project may improve commerce everywhere," the firm continued.

The move to join the Facebook-backed stablecoin project, which formally launched last summer, is a notable one given Shopify's size and influence. Though it doesn't offer direct cryptocurrency support, Shopify does enable its merchants to accept crypto via alternative payment methods through Coinbase Commerce, BitPay, GoCoin and CoinPayments Beta, according to its website. 

Elsewhere in its blog post, Shopify noted that "our mission is to make commerce better for everyone and to do that, we spend a lot of our time thinking about how to make commerce better in parts of the world where money and banking could be far better."

"That’s why we decided to become a member of the Libra Association. This is one step, but not the only step we’ll be taking to be a part of the solution to this global problem," the company said.

As The Block reported previously, the Libra Association is weighing potentially significant changes to its yet-to-be-launched cryptocurrency. Rather than being backed by a basket of currencies and assets, Libra may ultimately be backed by the U.S. dollar or be composed of a series of tokens, each backed by a separate government-issued currency.

Since launch, Libra has attracted its share of criticism from regulators and policymakers worldwide. At the same time, officials such as U.S. Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell have credited Libra with spurring further development in the area of public-sector digital currencies.