In recent posts, we have been analysing the cons Libra is facing on its way toward achieving its planned goals. The Libra project must face Political and financial opponents in almost all the world markets, as well as some hostile countries, allergic to both Facebook and cryptocurrencies.
On this article, we will review some of the pros the currency may have in hand to accelerate its spread.
The Digital World
According to wearesocial.com, the Digital world at the beginning of 2019 has the following key figures:
5.11 billion unique mobile users, up 84 million from 2018 (2%)
4.39 billion internet users, up 366 million (9%)
3.4 billion social media users, with a growth of 288 million (9%)
3.25 billion citizens that use social media on mobiles, up 297 million(>10%)
The latest information collected by this site shows that Internet users are growing at a rate of about 11 users per second, for a total of one million new users per day.
Social media growth was 288 million worldwide in 2018, with a global penetration figure of 45 per cent. Social media growth is still unevenly distributed, from close to 70% penetration in the USA down to 7% in Central Africa. Which means the future Libra currency has room to grow, and also that the whole movement towards digital means of payment will make social media grow, as well, on a kind of symbiotic relationship.
People also, spend an average of 2 hours 16 minutes on social networks, meaning one-third of their time spent on the internet and one-seventh of their time awake. Facebook kept its ranking as the leader of social platforms. Facebook’s active users grew across 2018 at a steady pace. Below we can see a chart of Facebook’s impressive growth, which shows the potential to lead a project such as Libra.
Worldwide, Facebook has a huge customer base in countries with a high number of unbanked adults, Such as Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand.
Statista.com lastest data tells that, as of March 2019, e-commerce share of total global retail sales is 17.5%.
The chart below shows the digital buyer penetration worldwide from 2016 and with projections up to 2021. In 2016 the penetration figure was 58.3%, and it is projected to grow to 63% at the end of 2019. The number of buyers worldwide grew from 1.32 billion in 2014 to 1.79 billion in 2018, and this is expected to grow to 1.92 in 2019.
Facebook and Indonesia
Libra White Paper has been published in nine languages being the very first in the list Indonesia. This means this country is vital for Facebook’s Libra plans. That is so because Indonesia, as we see in the chart above, is in the fourth place in the world on the number of FB users. If Libra can solve the local problems, it has a high potential for growth there. Facebook might likely try to use this country as a test-bench for the penetration in similar economies.
According to a report by We Are Social, Indonesian citizens, besides having the world’s highest rate of FB post engagement, and the highest frequency of online shopping, nearly 10 per cent Indonesians said they own some kind of cryptocurrency.
In the cited article it is mentioned that Joshua Ho, QCP Capital co-founder said
“People are already very aligned with mobile payments,” Ho said. “It is geographically decentralized. Creating banking access is a huge challenge.”
These conditions, lots of digital users and difficulties to access banks, seem ideal for Libra as a mean of exchange and trade. Also, according to the world bank, Indonesia has about 97 million adults with no bank account.
In the same article by Leigh Cuen, it is mentioned that Anchorage CEO Nathan McCauley, Libra’s founding member, told that it is critical for Libra’s success among the unbanked that the digital currency is accepted by merchants.
As we see can see, There is a lot to do for the members of the Libra project, but the initial figures are bright, and the testbench for the spread of this digital currency among the unbanked well chosen.