“Transform[ing] the global economy so people everywhere can lead better lives.” With these words, Mark Zuckerberg turned the spotlight on Libra, the stablecoin cryptocurrency designed by Facebook. The CEO and inventor of the most revolutionary social network of our time is probably envisaging the lives of people freely sitting on their couch or on the subway completing online purchases on all kinds of digital platforms. In this case where Libra can be used on Facebook, Messenger and WhatsApp, we are dealing with a potentially global currency that can facilitate the exchange of money between all users of these platforms, therefore among billions of people.
If we take a small step back, we can understand the nature of the Facebook currency a little better. It is a stablecoin, a type of stable cryptocurrency not at the mercy of the financial markets and which is firmly tied to the value of the dollar. This assumption provides for easy exchanges and removes the value of the currency from the ups and downs of the cryptocurrencies market. In recent years, that same market has in no way been generous with Bitcoin. Stability is therefore the most advantageous feature of Libra because it makes it usable without risk for the exchange of goods and services and protects the buyer and seller against the possibility of losing their money. In this respect, however, the currency does not remain infallible. In fact, even the dollar, to which it is anchored, is itself subject to market fluctuations despite being less and less eventful than the fluctuations of Bitcoin.
Libra is therefore a collateral stablecoin in a trustworthy currency. It is issued only as a result of a deposit, to guarantee the issuance of a quantity of a legal tender currency, in this case the dollar. The difference is based on this guarantee from its “sisters”, the stablecoins whose collateral is supported by other cryptocurrencies and those that are not collateralized. In the latter case the currency is not supported by other resources and is managed in an encrypted environment where, if the price goes up, more tokens are minted, and, if it goes down, part of the existing currency is bought back and destroyed.
In addition to stability, the benefits of Zuckerberg's currency have also been supported by additional factors. Libra is a global currency and its use is not restricted by the banking circuits. Instead, it goes beyond and allows people without a bank account to make online purchases and payments.
Finally, as the offspring of a web giant, it has been quick to attract the right allies. Its partners include the likes of PayPal, Uber, Vista and MasterCard, as well as Spotify, eBay, Vodafone, Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase, Iliad, Women World's Banking, Kiva, Booking Holdings, Farfetch, PayU, Mercado Pago, Creative Destruction Lab, BisonTrails, Xapo, Anchorage, Breakthrough Initiatives, Stripe, Lyft, Thrive Capital, Ribbit Capital, Union Square Ventures and Mercy Corps. This list of brands offers guarantees and greatly expands the scope of the currency, its services and as always, the potential customer base.