In a dozen countries, purchases can be paid with “facebook coin”. This means of payment or money transfer will be available from the first quarter of 2020, in a dozen countries according to the BBC. The company is moving very quickly on this “globalcoin” project, the name of the currency internally. At the beginning of May, Facebook created Libra Networks in Switzerland, which operates in the blockchain, this encrypted data exchange system that serves as the basis for cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. And David Marcus, the former manager of the online payment system PayPal, is in charge.
But this diversification of Facebook, which is still being questioned for its management of personal data, raises many questions. Especially since the mystery surrounds this project. “We are still working,” explained Mark Zuckerberg on May 30. The founder of Facebook linked globalcoin to his strategy of bringing together WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger messaging services. “People will want to interact privately, in any way they can. Payment is one of them,” he explained. The model is the Chinese platform WeChat, which combines messaging, video and mobile payment.
According to press speculation, Facebook would allow currency exchange in global corners, by banks or brokers, even without a bank account. This currency would be backed by a basket of currencies such as the dollar, euro and yen. It would be used to transfer money or pay, online but also in a grocery store, a taxi…
Facebook will have to give guarantees on privacy
In reality, globalcoin will not really be a crypto-currency, because its functioning will not be decentralized, observers point out. What is the advantage, then, over payment solutions such as PayPal? The stability of globalcoin, backed by recognized currencies, could be attractive in developing countries.
It remains to be convinced by the local authorities, while in India, a law banning crypto-currency is being debated. Elsewhere, discussions have begun between Facebook and the American authorities or the Bank of England. There is the question of compliance with anti-money laundering legislation and the obligation to “know your client”, which limits anonymity.
Facebook will have to give guarantees about privacy, the U.S. Senate Banking Committee warned in a letter to the company: “Will it know things about a person’s creditworthiness, their ability to buy credit or insurance? “asks the authority. The future of globalcoin will depend on the ability of the American giant to provide answers.