Libra - Facebook's Currency

Last Tuesday Facebook announced the launch of its cryptocurrency Libra – what do you think about it? :thinking:

Do you trust Facebook enough to transfer your money into a currency they operate? :grimacing:

@MitchKerr Facebook is definitely set to become a utility, they might be moving into crypto with their stable coin but really it’s well positioned to become a Telco.

More than this, FB has an initiative called Free Basics, which is where facebook aims to bring internet to rural parts of the world, because in this day and age internet should be a basic human right. They’ve already signed up almost half the countries in Africa - a combined population of 635 million.

FB’s Free Basics initiative means that the people in these areas are able to access facebook free of data charges. Facebook is great for FB messenger, being able to text and call people. Libra could well be a feature of this soon!

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Facebook is definitely becoming a player with too much power, first, they control all the data, millions of information from a 2 Billion user base, with control over the location, ID, networking, contacts, messages, and now they are tackling the financial system. Just like Tesla will soon have with the Billions of data they can gather from each driver, it’s a huge step towards automation and AI.

We will soon have a discussion of how big can a company get before the government intervenes… I don´t think they actually see themselves as the powerhouse, which they are with no doubt.

In terms of disruption, Facebook is playing it perfectly by tackling emerging markets which are the best application for the cryptocurrencies. Allowing emerging countries to exchange value and having a stable currency it’s a huge deal, many businesses that have operations with inflationary currencies will probably have losses with clients impairments.

It’s not just money anymore, it’s monetary policy, it’s challenging the power of central banks and the financial system overall. The moment that tech companies start to replace banks with lending P2P platforms and by offering faster payment systems and a digital wallet to store money then it’s just the survival of the fittest.

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Some great points @AfonsoCasanova! It’s going to be very interesting to see how the central banks adapt over the next few years as we potentially see a wide scale move towards digital currency. I’m also interested to see how a move towards digital currency will affect how countries tax their citizens in the future.

Exciting & concerning at the same time!

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Almost everything is outdated outside the tech world, it will be very interesting to see regulators keeping up with innovation.
I fully agree it’s very exciting but very concerning as well, too many questions remain to be answered.

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@AfonsoCasanova great points! Definitely agree with you on FB’s strategy of tackling emerging markets. It’s quite concerning to think that out of 7billion+ people, there are still 1.7billion adults globally that do not have access to a bank account. Put in that context, you’re right, FB’s strategy is a huge deal particularly in relation to monetary policy.

Completely agree with you on the lending space. Lending is the core of the traditional banks’ business and the anchor for customer loyalty. Banks will become a utility and you can see this shift already taking place as banks act as custodians for Fintech and payment companies. It’s also supported by this report by Reuters on how Banks investment in technology is not yielding them a return yet: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-banks-digital-idUSKCN1TL0QA

To kick off the discussion on how big can a company get before the government intervenes, I think an interesting discussion piece to have first would be understanding the level of trust consumers have for Fintechs, like Facebook, over governments. What are your thoughts on this?

Opening this question up to anyone in the community, what are your thoughts on this?

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@StephBrennan I completely agree with banks becoming a utility and adapting to a different and innovative business model, for the first time in history banks are losing their purpose, it will be very interesting to see what banks will look like in the next decade.

Fintechs are definitely replacing investment banks, leaving the wholesale and retail banks in action. Although retail banks are the ones experiencing more disruption in terms of usability and consumer habits.

To kick off the debate on “how big can a company get before governments start to highlight it as a threat” well, i agree it’s all about trust and consumer confidence but there is another topic that comes with these big corporations and that is Corporate Responsibility which i don’t believe many companies believe they have that duty to the market, but it’s a trending concern, these corporations with these services that tackle millions of sectors should have some sense of accountability. If Amazon web services gets hacked or shuts down or if google cloud gets the same faith, the damage would be huge, that’s just an example of some services that are crucial for the digital economy to be running smoothly.

Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain technology brought an interesting trend, the “Decentralized Autonomous Organization” (DAO), i think these new organizations will be one of the most exciting uses for Blockchain technology, using smart contracts for democratic decisions and a set of rules instead of letting human behavior in charge leading to a very old topic - Corruption.

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