The Secret Broker: Do Zuck’s bucks suck?
The Secret Broker
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I caught up with an old banking mate of mine for a drink on Wednesday, as he wanted to grab some of my thoughts on what impact the new Facebook crypto coin may have on listed companies.
And it was his shout. Sounded good to me.
Before we got down to it, I asked him how the family was and he told me that his daughter had recently graduated and how proud he was, even though Grandma managed to ruin the day.
Apparently, Grandma had sent her a text that said “WTF. YOU managed to Graduate!” and this had sent daughter and mother into a tizzy fit of self-doubt, tears and tantrums.
He said he thought it a bit strange, was out of character and maybe time for the old nursing home. But when confronted, Grandma said she thought WTF meant “Well That’s Fabulous”.
I almost fell off my chair laughing.
Then my old mate told me that there wouldn’t be any bankers who said “Well That’s Fabulous” when reading the headline in the AFR, that Facebook was launching Libra, its own crypto stablecoin. There might actually be more on the side of the real meaning of WTF, is what he thought.
This is very big news for any banker, as 2.3 billion people will now be able to send money to each other and across borders, without the need for any bank to be involved.
All a person will need is a free Facebook account, then attach some coin to a message and hit send. The unbanked will now become banked and the ripple-on effect is massive.
Here’s the movie version if words confuse you:
Any company applying for a banking licence or just gained one will realise that they have just ripped up millions of dollars and got themselves tangled up in red tape for no reason.
My friend surmised that for under $50,000, he could now create his very own payment system as Facebook is making all the coding public (open source). Creating the wallets needed by business to accept Libra coins will be very easy.
Here are the first 27 (there will be 100 in total) founding partners:
Not one bank, so far!
Subscription services will be able to take micro payments, down to a few cents, and you will be able to give the kids their pocket money to spend at the tuckshop, without an EFTPOS machine or bank needed.
Just a few taps on their smartphone to pay via an NFC payment sticker.
So, the long and short of it is that the ripple-on effect will take about two years before any damage starts, as the coin will not be ready to launch until 2020.
You may wish to adjust your longer-term view on holdings that are involved in the financial sector.
If you have the time, here is the Libra White Paper, to help you understand it a bit more.
Of course, all of this crypto excitement managed to get Bitcoin to trade nicely above its long-term support level of $US8,245 and that meant that my friend insisted I wear my pair of brown corduroy flares, to the pub, if he was going to pay.
Got a few stares and wows. But hey, Facebook has made them cool again.