On June 16, Facebook took global headlines by announcing Project Libra. Libra’s mission is to enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people. Below the surface, it is a new decentralised blockchain, a low-volatility stable coin and a smart contract platform.
Victor Liew, Co-Founder and CTO at Xfers, was invited to a panel discussion on Libra organised by the Singapore-based community dedicated to blockchain and decentralised applications. He shared his prediction of Libra’s success, and potential difficulties Libra may encounter in engineering a fiat on-ramp infrastructure within the Southeast Asian region. Over 100 blockchain experts and enthusiasts attended the event at PayPay’s Innovation Lab on July 16, 2019.
We’re happy that a big tech company is pushing for more user awareness on the possibility of cryptocurrency. We’re even more excited about the endless possibilities of new payments and financial products if the Libra Foundation is successful in their push for adoption. They are creating a platform from which more services can build upon.
Facebook has a massive user base. If the Libra project is a success, it will put cryptocurrency in the hands of the average retail consumers, and drive more daily use cases of cryptocurrency in people’s day-to-day lives.
First, the Facebook brand is not ideal for this project due to its history of not respecting users’ privacy.
Second, the Libra whitepaper talks about providing financial services to the unbanked. That is a very difficult segment to reach out to, considering factors such as complex local regulations, as well as the lack of various resources like Internet connectivity, mobile devices and an effective fiat on-ramp system.
Finally, it’s not easy to hire talent to execute the project — both globally and locally.
I imagine it will have a good amount of success in the first three years within the Facebook ecosystem. For future success, it depends on the founding members to adopt it. So far, very few of them have committed.
On the panel with Victor were other blockchain experts including:
With the excitement of Libra, more people are asking: can Facebook obtain regulators’ blessings? Can Libra become genuinely decentralised? Will consumer privacy be exploited by global tech giants? Find out the answers from Victor, and connect with him on Linkedin!