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SAY HELLO TO LIBRA – FACEBOOK’S NEW CRYPTOCURRENCY

You will already be familiar with Apple Pay and PayPal, now say hello to Facebook’s long-awaited new cryptocurrency, ‘Libra’. ‘Libra’ is designed to allow users to transfer funds via the app with just the click of a button. Whilst initially limited to fund-free money transfers, it hopes to eventually expand its services to buying a cup of coffee with a code scan, to even paying bills with the push of a button.

Libra would enable users to send money to friends and family without fees, on a single, unified platform, similar to popular apps such as Circle Pay. With this digital wallet, Facebook is looking to challenge the current lack of financial services for many people around the world. In terms of security, it boasts the same verification and anti-fraud processes that banks and credit cards use, along with automated systems that will monitor activity to detect and prevent fraudulent behaviour, quelling any concerns users may have about this new world of ‘cryptocurrency’.

The idea behind the new feature is to position Facebook as an everyday life essential – a place where you can check for updates, make purchases via ‘Marketplace’, message friends, and now make payments. This influx of user traffic may also encourage more businesses to increase investment on the platform, which means more money for the already-huge social media platform.

Whilst many other platform updates often revolve around introducing new and exciting shopping capabilities, none have seemed to focus any effort on payment functionalities like ‘Libra’ has done. Perhaps this new feature will encourage both brands and customers to invest more time (and money) on the platform, but ultimately, in a world where online banking is accessible via mobile devices and payments can be made via contactless features, we’re not sure how much of a cultural impact ‘Libra’ is going to have.