A CMO, CFO & CEO Guide to Facebook’s Libra Coin

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We either are one or we work for one, the coveted ‘C-Suite Position’.  The pressures are high, the rewards are vast, and the view from our window is typically better; but that fall from grace can be ‘bruisy’…very ‘bruisy’.   So, consider this Four-Part Daily Series on Facebook’s Libra Coin as either water cooler talk, board room banter, or a part of your arsenal to move up the ranks in your career pursuits.  Read on comrade, this stuff is ‘mucho importanto’.

Bottom Line: Facebook, has 2.41 Billion active monthly users as of Q2-2019.  That’s a lot of power.  Not just social power, but commerce power.  The world of wallets, pockets and purses is evolving, and we should too.

Facebook’s Libra Coin is greatly misunderstood.  Zuckerberg’s timing of its release could have been better considering his frequent visits to Congress to answer privacy and policy questions.  Other negative news has circulated with Visa – MasterCard – PayPal and other payment models rescinding their initial agreements with Facebook due to ‘privacy’ concerns.

In this Four-Part Daily Series, Smart Community Technologies (SCT) will help explain the future of customer engagement and what the evolution of Facebook Libra or other digital currencies mean to our career and to our Country.

Here is what SCT will explain:

  1. The Libra concept and what it actually can do for personal gain, community gain, and non-profit support.
  2. Be it your business, a social cause or a community group the concept of Facebook’s Libra becomes a tool for us to learn how to hold powerful entities accountable.
  3. Blending customized technologies with digital currencies like Libra can provide amazing value that every customer loyalty initiative or brand has missed.
  4. The benefit of utilizing digital currencies as incentives for promotions, engagement and retention. Eliminating miles, points, stars, or difficult to understand rewards currencies which can only be spent at the merchant issuing those rewards.
  5. The way rewards are earned and used with a powerful decentralized eco-system. Something that the U.S. has tried for decades to deliver and has failed each time.  The latest example is with AMEX Plenti.
  6. Designing accountability models that create trust and transparency and as a result increase transaction volume for vendors, brands, and small business owners.
  7. Creating smart contracts and transacting new business without human intervention or confirmation bias.
  8. Allowing people and communities to communicate effectively with one another rather than arguing or disagreeing with each other due to confirmation bias.
  9. Deploying custom marketing strategies and concepts to reach customers faster and better with the ability to create partnerships with brands and consumers which has never existed previous.

We have broken down Facebook’s Libra Coin into simple and executable language.  The goal of this series is to deliver ideas that will trigger the reader into how to customize a better solution for their customer engagement strategies.  The ‘definition’ of a customer could be people attending church, a group of people who want to support special needs or important causes, fans at a football game, etc.  In other words, a much broader definition than what we might initially think the word customer refers too.

As a professionals and members of our community we are responsible for executing solutions for our businesses, local municipalities, and social cause interests.  We can help.

PART I: What Is Libra Coin & The Libra Wallet?

Project Libra is a centralized, global, stable cryptocurrency project set to launch in 2020, headed by Facebook and a consortium of major companies around the world.  Libra’s Coin value is maintained by a reserve of liquid stable assets that backs each coin created.  Libra is set to become completely decentralized within 5 years after it launches although there is no guarantee in the algorithm to assure ‘pure’ decentralization takes place.  Its purpose is to connect the 2.4 billion Facebook users and reach other people living on our planet through one digital currency.

As our world moves into a cashless, digital only economy, many unbanked or underbanked people may be left behind.  The Libra cryptocurrency aims to help people that don’t have any access to the banking system to participate in the digital economy.  Libra is designed to work like a stablecoin (which is a cryptocurrency with a relatively stable value against real world currencies also known as fiat currencies).

Unlike Bitcoin or Ethereum, which widely fluctuate in value due to price speculation, Libra’s value will have low volatility due to a reserve of currencies and assets that back it.  The Calibra Wallet Facebook set up as a subsidiary called Calibra Inc.  Facebook will develop the first ever digital wallet of its type which will carry the same name, known as Calibra.

Calibra is set to work as an independent wallet for Libra and will also integrate with other services such as Facebook and WhatsApp allowing billions of users to send funds to each other around the world with a single tap of their mobile device and with low transaction fees.  Have a vendor or friend in China or Germany?  We will now be able to send money instantly without intermediary delays or transaction fees.

Western Union, wire transfers, escrow accounts and other current banking services will all be greatly disrupted because of Libra or because Libra let the cat out of the bag.  Even if national governments try to regulate and or ban Libra, the world is now aware of what is possible with digital commerce.  Businesses and global citizens want financial freedoms without continued burdening government intervention.

We may not like being constrained by the global powerhouse that Facebook represents since nobody really knows who or how Libra will self-govern and regulate user experience.  The important point to understand is that technology and commerce are tightening their bond by giving a global population more payment options.  Which is why this is such an entrepreneurial moment for the world.  For any company or community, we can now make sure that technologies are used for good rather than benefit a few powerful elites.  If we fail, we only have ourselves to blame.  Because you, too, can have something just like Libra.  Facebook just does not want us to know that.  They don’t want us to compete with them, but we can.

In Part II of this Daily Series will dive into that option on a deeper level.  Let’s be mindful of what Facebook is building and the technology they are deploying.

The Calibra Wallet is still in development as of November 2019.  According to the Calibra website we will be required to verify your identity with a government ID in order to sign up.  This is great for first and second world countries, but what about the third world countries?  The wallet will also allow you to purchase Libra Coins in exchange for fiat currencies.  Think of Facebook acting like those Currency Exchange kiosks you see in International Airports.

While the Libra initiative was set in motion by Facebook, some of the major companies around the world are partners in it. Uber, Coinbase, Spotify and Vodafone to name a few. These companies will be part of the Libra Association and will manage the development of the currency and its network.  Thus, they will have an influence in our wallet experience too.

Think of our favorite sports stadium also having supplemental advertisers around the stadium.  The Calibra Wallet may work the same with each partner having an influence in your ride sharing, currency exchange, music and communication experiences just as Coca-Cola has the beverage concession in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  But, instead of Coca-Cola paying Mercedes Benz Stadium, Coca-Cola will pay you instead.  The value derived from key brands paying consumers is then re-captured in value added membership and a completely new mouse trap has been created.

More coming in Part II

In Part II of our Daily Series we will see how to put this into motion for our businesses, communities, and non-profits which will revolutionize fundraising.  Business has changed, consumers have changed, we need to be far more pro-active in standing together to create win-win-win strategies which are now possible with the proper integration of digital technologies.

Steve is the CEO/Founder of Smart Community Technologies (SCT), an innovative mobile technologies and blockchain technology development firm. SCT specializes in cyber security, protection of data, and security awareness training for companies and municipalities.

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