We first discussed digital currencies 8 years ago, way back in 4Cast #231. We talked about the blockchain technology that makes it possible, the financial bubble it enabled, and the threat of cryptojacking. But let’s face it: you haven’t really thought you needed to pay close attention because you don’t really have access to or need to use a Bitcoin wallet.
Now Facebook has announced that they intend to offer digital currencies to the masses through their subsidiary Calibra. Aiming to bring basic financial services to people without bank accounts or access to credit, Calibra promises to make sending and spending their digital currency (Libra) as easy as “sending a text message.” Is it time to pay attention? Financial markets and the governments are taking notice.
- How Libra, Facebook’s Cryptocurrency, Would Work for You (New York Times) “Facebook said it intended to offer Libra to almost all of the 2.7 billion customers who are now on its Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp services. It also hopes to allow Libra to be used for payments for things like ads on its social network.”
- Facebook’s cryptocurrency has a trust problem (The Verge) “If you don’t trust Facebook to manage the News Feed, why would you trust it to construct a financial system?”
- Libra Could Make Or Break Bitcoin (Forbes) “Libra has already created a positive social media buzz for digital currencies, sparking a strong rally, which sent Bitcoin firmly above $10,000, again. “
- House panel to hold hearing on Facebook cryptocurrency project (The Hill) “Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)…called on Facebook to suspend Project Libra until lawmakers and regulators had a chance to weigh in and grill company executives.”
From the Ohio Web Library:
- Roberts, Jeff John. “Facebook’s Project Libra: 5 Things to Know About the Cryptocurrency.” Fortune.Com, June 2019
- Crosman, Penny. “Did Facebook Swipe Its Calibra Logo from a Challenger Bank?” American Banker, vol. 184, no. 119, June 2019, p. 1.
- “EDITORIAL: If Facebook Acts like a Bank, Regulate It like a Bank.” Houston Chronicle (TX), 21 June 2019.