We’ve had Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay… and now it is the turn of Facebook. The social media giant has announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency called Libra next year, aiming this at the 1.7 billion adults worldwide who do not have a bank account. According to Facebook, you will be able to buy Libra via its platforms and store it in a digital wallet called Calibra, which will be integrated into Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. Our Head of Digital, Tony Oakley shares his thoughts on the new cryptocurrency.
“Facebook’s plans to launch their own global cryptocurrency (Libra) has raised many an eyebrow across the industry this week, particularly in context of the eroded trust that Facebook’s brand has taken through recent data protection and privacy scandals. Consumer trust is usually a key factor in the success or failure of financial products and services, making their decision to enter this space a bold one.
However, when Libra launches next year it will be backed by a raft of other companies including Uber, Spotify, Mastercard, eBay and Vodafone. It’s also backed by other currencies including both the dollar and the pound, which Facebook claim will make it less volatile than other cryptocurrencies such as BitCoin. This reassurance could be key into taking Blockchain into the mainstream, and if anyone has the scale to cut through, Facebook are certainly best placed with more than 2.3bn active users globally. They just need to convince people that they can be trusted with their money first, which certainly won’t be easy!”