Facebook’s Libra, set for launch in 2020, is set to be a disruptive presence within existing financial frameworks. The Social Media giant’s landmark initiative is based on financial inclusion, as it intends to bring financial services to the billions of unbanked individuals around the globe. Reaching people where traditional financial institutions have failed to do so, is an initiative that other cryptocurrencies have tried their hand in — only to be met with failure. However, Libra might be an exception to the case, due to a simple reason: Facebook’s install base.

Approximately 1.7 billion people around the globe don’t have access to an account at a traditional financial institution or access through a mobile provider. This is according to data put out by the World Bank. It is worth noting that there was similar buzz surrounding crypto, and it is still arguably, one of crypto’s “benefits”. However, the market has failed to adopt and accept crypto for regular transactions.

The adoption of evolving monetary standards requires more than just software. It requires robust infrastructure that facilitates thesecryptocurrencies, and this mandates close collaboration with governments and customization of services in alignment with regional traditions, customs, and sentiments.

Libra, however, has a major trump card up its sleeve: its install base. With 2 billion Facebook users, Libra has a large audience it can market itself towards right off the bat. While the exact number of these users who are unbanked cannot be determined exactly, the opportunity that presents itself is very noteworthy indeed. The biggest barrier that is stopping the unbanked from making the jump is transaction fees. With Libra, anyone with a cheap smartphone can have accessible financial services. Individuals can purchase items, make transactions, or transfer money to other individuals with nearly zero fees – this stands in contrast to traditional financial institutions, and owing to its integration with FBM and WhatsApp, Libra promises a degree of intuitiveness not provided by clunkier methods......Read More