The last few weeks have been laced with a cocktail of bad publicity for cryptocurrency that have partly succeeded in making the idea seem like a poisoned chalice. Scams and cons have characterized the news everytime it is mentioned.
However, from the quiet beginnings of Bitcoin to the level it is at, garnering all this much attention, one thing can’t be ignored – the fact that it is here to stay and like any new technological disruption, resistance is part and parcel of the process. That has come with the misinformation that is being exploited by a few unintentionally creating this bad for business atmosphere.
But that also illustrates the kind of faith the masses have on decentralized finance. Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa are a step ahead of the rest of Africa with this cryptocurrency wave given their sizeable holdings trading activities. Do they facilitate buying and selling? Partly yes. Japanese car dealer Beforward accepts Bitcoin for transactions.
Skeptics who were initially shaken after Facebook’s announcement in June that it was part of a consortium building Libra – their home-grown cryptocurrency – gained their voices once again when signs showed it was crumbling fast.
Mastercard, Visa, Stripe, eBay, PayPal and Mercado Pago withdrew from the Libra Association citing pressure from governments and regulators who argue that the project is a threat to existing financial systems, but most importantly, protect their businesses from harsh regulatory consequences in effect.
The biggest worry is numbers – Facebook has over two billion users out of the seven billion on planet earth and that by far should make it the biggest bank in the world and the most used payment system. That would kill the usefulness of banks and their current and future digital services.
Also, traditional remittance services like Money gram, Western Union, WorldRemit will be forced to adapt to the new wave or die off natural and get consigned to the archives.
Similarly, that will be the fate of mobile money which has lived and grown off the idea of convenience, but Libra and cryptocurrencies generally will enable instant micro-payments which is not the case with Mobile Money owing to its mechanics.
Now, Libra is going to be on Blockchain and the big concern that is amplified by every negative story about cryptocurrency is regulation.
It throws the issue of territorial sovereignty with which the central banks issue and protect currencies from threats into question and Libra will take […]