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  • Here's what we do know.

  • Facebook is leading the creation of a new global currency called Libra.

  • The social network is bringing together a new consortium of 28 companies,

  • including tech giants like Uber and eBay, payment firms like PayPal and Visa, and cryptocurrency pioneers like CoinBase,

  • who are all pledging millions of dollars to create this new cryptocurrency and the blockchain network that underpins it.

  • Before too long, Facebook hopes that billions of us will be using WhatsApp and Messenger to send each other payments using Libra, making it the first mainstream cryptocurrency.

  • But there are a lot of things we don't know.

  • How will Libra be regulated, and how will fraud or money laundering be policed?

  • How will users load cash into their Libra wallets?

  • Via a cash machine or a mobile operator, such as Vodafone?

  • Which merchants will choose to accept Libra?

  • And will the traditional banking industry see Facebook as a friend or a foe?

  • The big question for us as consumersis it safe?

  • Facebook is insisting that this is not another data grab and that financial information will remain private.

  • It will not share account data between its Libra wallets and the rest of Facebook, and it won't use the data for targeting ads.

  • So what's in it for you?

  • One, lower fees for sending money overseas.

  • Two, faster and more secure peer-to-peer payments whether that's splitting the pizza bill or paying for coffee.

  • There is also potential for new microtransactions, opening up different kinds of business models online that have previously been held back by fees.

  • Facebook promises that Libra will simplify commerce within its family of apps, so you can buy those sneakers that you spotted on Instagram.

  • But what's in it for Facebook itself?

  • Facebook says its mission is one of financial inclusion, to reach 1.7 billion people who are currently unbanked and reduce transaction fees that are particularly onerous for small businesses.

  • Libra will also provide an on-ramp to the Facebook ecosystem for people in remote corners of the world,

  • whose internet connections and mobile phones are not yet up to scrolling through the newsfeed or shopping on Instagram.

  • Facebook executives see this as a way to get back on the front foot after a two-year apology tour and prove that the company can still innovate.

  • But creating Libra and recruiting these initial partners are just the first steps.

  • Now is where the hard work really begins of convincing the rest of the world that it needs a new global currency.

  • Maybe this time, Facebook can learn to move slowly and not break anything.

Here's what we do know.

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    Jessieeee posted on 2019/07/04
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