Libra Moonshot

Preamble
Why do we 'promote' Libra? Not at all, we have been following the payment space since ApplePay (2014) and GooglePay (2015). Not much has been happening until Facebook stepped up to the plate with Libra. The topic on hand is innovations in payments, with Libra as the particular example.


Nano-Economics
Libra has been savaged this past couple weeks by lawmakers and analysts. One of the issues is the possible monetary impact of a new currency on the currencies of other countries and even the USD. The concern is understandable given Facebook's rep for being a 800 lb (363 kg) gorilla. However, it is possible Libra's focus is on practical nano-economics rather than step on monetary turf:
  • Slightly more user friendly than payment processors (PayPal, Stripe)
  • Slightly more accessible than credit cards (Visa, Mastercard)
  • Slightly more fluent than crypto (Bitcoin, Ethereum)

Moonshot
This begs the question: why are PayPal, Mastercard and Visa in the Libra association to develop a possible competing product? As we speculate:
  • These services see Facebook's growing membership (currently 2.5 billion, more than than the population of CN or IN) as a 'country' and, true to their expeditionary roots, they are the first to open offices in this 'country'.
  • They see Libra as Facebook's 'moonshot' and are keen to get seats on the ride. To quote the tagline of PayPal (which has done a sterling job in cross-border payments): 'Access to financial services creates opportunity'.