In a huge move for the finance industry and for the cryptocurrency community, Facebook revealed its Libra digital currency. The crypto, which will technically be what’s known as a stablecoin and backed by a consortium of banks and other organizations, has the impact to greatly change how the world makes payments.
Facebook touted that it plans to launch the currency in the first half of 2020. However, it’s subject to regulatory approvals and could very well be delayed, according to Quartz.
The upcoming currency has the power to dramatically change the finance industry and disrupt the types of jobs needed for the future to keep people’s money safe. For example, cryptocurrencies are known for their extreme volatility. According to Bloomberg, “Bitcoin once dropped from nearly $20,000 to around $6,000 in four months -- a range of price swings that makes it nearly unusable for real-life transactions.” Therefore, Facebook’s upcoming Libra stablecoin can avoid this similar, volatile fate.
According to the tech company, Libra will be backed by "a collection of low-volatility assets, such as bank deposits and short-term government securities in currencies from stable and reputable central banks.”
Ultimately, how can Facebook’s foray into cryptocurrency affect jobs and the finance industry at large? First, it’s interesting to note the different companies already part of the consortium to regulate Libra. According to a recent Forbes article, there are plans in place for over 100 businesses to sit on this organization and each will invest a minimum of $10 million to make it happen. These include “Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Stripe, Uber, Spotify, eBay, Uber Technologies, Vodafone Group Plc, venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Thrive Capital.”
Therefore, it’s easy to see the various industries that will be involved in this new finance push. Unsurprisingly, each of these companies and organizations will no doubt need to hire a team of people to help work on this Libra initiative, boosting the job forecast for roles in cryptocurrency regulation.
This, of course, will provide a boon for the technology and legal subsections of the finance industry, increasing new hires as Libra gets closer and closer to becoming a reality. “It would likely cause an initial massive spike in the demand for the services of attorneys, regulators and related professionals,” according to Forbes.
Additionally, Facebook’s aims to enact a huge boost for smaller and local businesses on the platform to successfully use microtransactions through Libra. “There’s the sweet spot for Facebook: individuals and merchants will be able to buy and sell products across all of the company’s proprietary apps, such as WhatsApp and Instagram,” according to Forbes. “Facebook could further dominate and compete against the likes of Amazon by having its members transact business on Facebook and its other properties using its Libra currency.”
In sum, Facebook’s Libra will not only pull in many other organizations in the finance and tech industries to boost jobs in those areas for regulatory positions, the small business community also stands to benefit greatly from this disruption of the payments industry as well.