When Facebook unveiled ambitious plans in June to spearhead the creation of a global digital currency, co-founder David Marcus promised unprecedented co-operation between some of the biggest names in technology and payments.

"Everyone will play their role," the Facebook executive said of the 28 initial founding members of his Libra scheme.

But this month, Facebook was blindsided when seven of the high-profile companies, including eBay, PayPal, Visa and Mastercard, stepped back from the project, leaving its future hanging in the balance.

How did Facebook's currency unravel?

Members of the so-called Libra Association became wary of the project after regulators and

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Why do the dropouts matter?

What are the challenges ahead?

Libra's shaky beginnings: