What does Facebook’s new cryptocurrency mean? According to news reports, Facebook will shortly launch Libra, a global cryptocurrency available to users of its suite of platforms (including Messenger and WhatsApp). Presumably any merchant with an account on these platforms could transact in the cryptocurrency with customers who also have accounts—for anything, such as online purchases, and physical-world purchases such as groceries and restaurants. Facebook this week revealed plans to announce details on June 18 and confirmed its cryptocurrency will be a “stablecoin” whose value will be tied to a basket of fiat currencies. Based on Facebook’s statement and several anonymous comments made by people tied to the project in interviews with The Information, here are my six predictions.
1. Facebook’s cryptocurrency will be a powerful force for good in developing countries, which is where Facebook intends to market the product.