Facebook launches cryptocurrency

let's turn our attention to arguably the most contentious story in tech and finance right now Facebook's push into FinTech with a cryptocurrency called libera it's due to hit the market sometime in 2020 now the social networking giant is not alone in this it's working it is with 20 partners from visa to MasterCard to paypal some see those partnerships as a competitive advantage I think Libre is going to compete on an even playing field of every other cryptocurrency out there it's got advantages its advantages include the fact that it's being launched by Facebook which has reach of billions of people it's got disadvantages in the way that it's architected and things that Bitcoin or etherium or other technologies might do better but this remember is the exact same company right at the center of several privacy scandals personal data from over 87 million users over 70 million of those in the US was illegally acquired and then used to target political campaign ads Frances finance minister has actually warned against making libera in his words a sovereign currency and the governor of Australia central bank says there plenty of regulatory issues that needs to be addressed el Iran I spoke to Ali Hussein Qasim among other things the CEO of a Nairobi based fintechs I started by asking him if Facebook's major trust deficits would cripple this push into e-commerce and financial services most sort of removing your attention from this particular issue that you are currently facing with which is sort of game-changing for the company not just from regulators around the world but from customers themselves I mean Facebook is losing more teenage emergency users than anything else you may say that's a pivot they are looking at new customer base but if you look at Libra and look at the whole cryptocurrency the blockchain ecosystem no one has attempted what Facebook is attempting today so isn't this a form of just moral licensing because it's saying okay fine don't trust me don't take me at my word but look at the people I'm working with if visas here I think MasterCard is exactly the hate Valdez here that's exactly the why do you have any issues with me that's exactly the point but here's the thing look at that list show me one global bank in that list well they're all ours not even one on central bankers for lack of a better word aren't they on the losing end of that fight because we've both seen the rather infamous a famous circular depending on your perspective from Kenya central bank that basically said if anyone walks into a bank and says I want to open an account and I want to use this to trade in cryptocurrencies don't open that account hmm it never worked people basically ignored that time of day when it was completely unenforceable completely from that perspective I mean central bankers can keep trying to make regulations left right and center but at the end of the day what do they really have so to stop this so I have a lot of respect for regulators the operates in most cases under very difficult circumstances they don't create laws so let's let's agree on that I don't care close they work within a system they may have leeway but they work within the laws what I have issues about is sometimes cute conversations coming from regulators back back to Facebook one of the things that I think worries most global regulators and global central bankers is simply this Facebook has two billion users can ignore those all it takes is 10% uptick of Libra within the Facebook ecosystem Facebook is the biggest bank in the world two hundred million users but who sets those rules and therein lies a problem because if if governments a are organizing the Internet as you point out and at the same time you've got other individuals are saying let's build it deal with the consequences later and you're dealing with services that transcend borders how do you set rules because these regulators aren't necessarily talking to each other if you do not have a seat at the table you're on the menu and you don't want to be on the menu and the thing about the new dispensation and the new rules of engagement in this new brave world is that we must engage with regulators they must listen to us after all who are these rules being created for themselves or us the users so unfortunately for Facebook it's difficult to forget that this is the same company that was responsible I'm sorry to say this for putting Trump in office so where where do you start saying no no no forget about that but you can trust us on this right those issues they cannot be separated it doesn't matter that you are sprinkling into the master cards and the PayPal's and the Vodafone of this world know it's tainted

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