Governance, Financial Inclusion, India, Tier 3 economies, remittances, payments, currencies, tokens, coins,…
These and more terms have been tossed around over the past few days, as we consumed facts and interpretations, triggered from the Libra white paper and all the related communications around it. As the dust settles down from the initial reactions, there are several overlooked aspects of the LIBRA plan that merit looking into.
Confession No. 1
There has been an explosion of cynical, partisan, and hyped threads of discussion. I include myself in the humans that reacted rather emotionally to the communication of the LIBRA plan. My `button` was pushed when the `financial inclusion` intention seemed to be the branding and PR storyline.
Dr. Cathy Mulligan and her collaborators called for caution in their Digital Cooperation report for the UN High-level panel (UNHLP) about using vulnerable communities to experiment on with #digitaltechnologies. Of course, `experimenting` is subject to interpretation and in the case of Facebook, maybe they can argue that this will be their second attempt in financial inclusion – as they did attempt to launch in the booming Indian market to offer seamless, cheaper payments like in any messaging app. Admittedly, payments are the very heart of any economy and we do live in a world that customers expect payments to be like WhatsApp messages.
continue reading »