Libra, Facebook’s cryptocurrency, was a major subject of Money20/20, the world’s largest technology and finance event held in Las Vegas, United States. Even after PayPal and other original partners left the idea, launched in June this year, project leader David Marcus took the main stage of Money20/20 to explain why Facebook didn’t give up on the idea and what the Big Tech’s intentions with Libra.
People don’t have to use Libra if it’s not good for them. Our confidence is that they will use it, as we will prove that our commitment will not be momentary but long term. … And we will be good at keeping that commitment, ” he said. Marcus also stated that “he doesn’t believe Libra will be the best digital wallet in the world,” and that will depend on the service that the consumer is looking for.
With the amount of payment services and cash transfers available today, many question the effectiveness of Libra and if the real value of the tool is for the customers–the absence of banks in the initial wave of partners has also made the project questionable. Marcus made it clear that Facebook talked to several banks and many of them were in fact interested.
“Because of their over-regulated natural business environment, it is normal for them to wait for us to be more structured. I believe that in the near future they will come in as soon as these problems are clarified, ” he said.
Blockchain was also approached by Marcus, who believes there is no other revenue for financial transactions today. “If you want to change the way we use money and do it safely, blockchain is the way. We want Libra’s network to be secure and at the same time open to all players to have access to the tools – and the blockchain also allows it, ”he said. At the end of the presentation, Marcus gave an example of how the speed of Libra, coupled with consumer behavior, can bring a big change to the market.
“Today, most people make an international bank transfer at a physical bank, send the voucher photo to someone via WhatsApp or Messenger and only three days later have that confirmed. This is very dangerous, physically. It would be much better if in the same message we could send the photo and also the money, all in real time. This is our proposal, ”he said.
Marcus also confirmed that Libra’s business is currently more focused and adapted to the cross-border market–i.e. cross-border transfers–but that in the US local transfers and payments are evolving within the company.
Translated by Fabiane Ziolla Menezes