Were you astonished to hear the news that Facebook plans to launch its own cryptocurrency? Would you trust it with your cash?
Perhaps I shouldn’t be as surprised as I am about the announcement. After all, Facebook seems to dominate the lives of many people, harvesting personal data in the process – it makes sense that it would seek to control our wallets, too.
The new cryptocurrency, named ‘Libra’, has had development input from the likes of Visa, Paypal and even Uber.
Users can make purchases or cash out Libra online or at exchanges such as supermarkets.
It is expected to be initially accepted by the likes of Mastercard, eBay, Spotify, and Vodafone, which have all been involved in its creation.
With an audience of billions, Facebook has the potential to create a banking game-changer; a truly global currency.
What about data privacy?
There’s no getting away from it – Facebook’s record on data privacy is not good. So would you trust it with your money?
Will highly sensitive information about its users’ finances be secure? Will Facebook track what we spend and who we send money to? And could this information be used to feed more targeted advertising?
I finally lost faith in Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica data scandal and closed my account last year.
We must also acknowledge that Facebook has a problem with scams on its platform and must do more to tackle it. If it’s struggling to get a handle on the situation now, why add cash to fuel the fire?
Facebook says its digital currency will make transfers and in-app payments seamless for its users. But could an element of anonymity make things easier for scammers? For me, it’s a concern.
Do we need another cryptocurrency?
A positive is that Libra wants to focus on reaching millions of people who don’t have, or can’t have, a bank account. It will give them access to buying, transferring and saving money online.
I want to hear more about Facebook’s plans for account security. I’m curious to know how it plans to safeguard money and honour consumer law while it’s in its hands.
Despite the controversies, Facebook continues to grow and connect the world. For a social network, I think it’s still mostly a positive thing.
I want to see Facebook prioritising its anti-scam operations and proving that it takes our security seriously before it gets involved in our money.
Would you trust Facebook with your money? Do you think its move into cryptocurrency is a good idea? Do you share my concerns about the risks? Let me know in the comments.