Could Libra launch herald the mainstream use of cryptocurrency in retail?

eBay, Farfetch, Facebook and PayPal are among the partners set to launch the new Libra cryptocurrency next year. The Libra launch, announced today, could be a first step towards the mainstream use of cryptocurrency in retail. But plenty of factors, not least consumer trust, could hold that back. Today’s announcement of the new blockchain-based cryptocurrency came first from Facebook, which said its own Calibra digital wallet would go live in 2020 to enable users to buy and spend the currency across a range of platforms.The social media organisation has led development of the Libra, but its control will rest with the Libra Association, based in Geneva. The Libra Association will be overseen by its founding members, who meet at least two of a range of criteria around net worth, reach and industry leadership. Once the currency is launched – and spendable –Facebook will have the same rights and obligations as any other founding member of the association. So far the association has 28 members – from marketplaces eBay and Farfetch, technology companies Uber, Spotify and Lyft,and telecoms providers Iliad and Vodafone Group, through to blockchain, venture capital and non-forprofit organisations. The aim is to have about 100 by the time the currency launches in the first half of 2020. Read more…