Carol Elliott | June 27, 2019
Facebook’s recent announcement of plans to launch a new digital currency called Libra was met with a skeptical or even alarmed response from lawmakers, regulators and leaders of foreign governments concerned about the impact on the global financial system. After all, the social media behemoth has been widely criticized in recent years for privacy violations and facilitating hate speech. Is Facebook the right entity to usher in the “internet of money”?
Bill Mcdonald Web
“If Facebook can’t build a truly successful cryptocurrency, I’m not sure who can,” said Bill McDonald, a finance professor at the University of Notre Dame who studies financial econometrics and capital markets.
The mission for Libra is stated as “a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people.” The objective is to allow users to buy items or send money at nearly zero fees, similar to PayPal.
McDonald finds Facebook’s release of the Libra white paper important for two reasons.
The first reason has to do with whether people will accept the currency, whether crypto or fiat (government backed). “Although Bitcoin had its moment of fame last year, it never became a common form of money,” said McDonald. “About the best way for something in this era to be widely accepted is through social media. Thus, Facebook has the ideal platform to launch a viable cryptocurrency. Broad usage is more important than great technology (see Betamax versus VHS).”
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