The Future of Cash May Be Facebook

Mitch JoelPosted by

In Libra We Trust?

Back in 2011, I published an article titled, F-Commerce – Rise Of The Facebook Consumer, that included this thought: 

“With more than 500 million members, if Facebook were a country it would be the third largest by population after China and India. Last month eMarketer reported that Facebook reaches the majority of Web users, saying that 132.5 million Americans will use the site. Facebook will reach almost nine in ten social network users and 57.1 per cent of all Internet users, eMarketer added. Soon after that, an Ad Age/Ipsos Observer survey of digital media habits reported that 75 per cent of Facebook users have ‘liked’ a brand as well. When you put these pieces together, it’s clear that should Facebook look at creating a currency within its network, it could become a dominant global force in monetary transactions… In a globalized economy where exchange rates fluctuate based on geo-local politics and economics, how do you think this will affect our world when everyone (everywhere) is also using the same monetary system and virtual credits?”

In 2013, I pushed this idea further in an article titled, Bitcoin And The Future Of Business:

“What if the true value, revenue and potential of companies like Facebook and Google went beyond the revenue that they generate from advertising? It’s easy for a company that attracts a lot of eyeballs to become snowblind by the money that brands and media agencies are throwing at them. Ultimately, the economics of advertising is somewhat simplistic… there could be other revenue models worth exploring, and one of them could be the creation of a currency… What if Facebook, Google and others took on the business of borderless digital currency? Think about the current race for digital wallets and decentralized online banking opportunities. What if the real business of Facebook or Google was to become the next-generation of BitcoinFacebook Credits already exist (remember Linden dollars in Second Life?). Currently credits in online platforms are still centralized and controlled, but what if Facebook gave their billion-plus community their own currency system and then extended it outward – one that wasn’t or couldn’t be affected by local governments, markets and the like? What if one dollar for me was the same monetary value as one dollar for (in whatever country you’re living in)? Clearly, there are many economic and legal hurdles that these companies are going to have to solve and jump through to create their own legally recognized currency, but Bitcoin is pointing to a fascinating new world where banks and our money – as we have known it to date – is about to become even more digitized and globalized. It’s something all of us need to be watching much  more closely, because it makes perfect sense. If Facebook is a massive global community, why wouldn’t that community have a shared currency for exchange?”

Recently, I discussed Facebook’s recent announcement in the digital currency space knowns as Libra, and other current topic along with Joseph Jaffe (author of Built To Suck, Admiral at The HMS Beagle), Adam Pierno (Arizona State University and author of Specific) and host Bob Knorpp on the very excellent BeanCast Podcast (which I’ve been fortunate to be a guest on in the past). I don’t know what it is about BeanCast, Bob Knorpp and these other panelists, but there is always “something in the water” when we record these conversations that brings out a lot of stimulating ideas and insights (and some friendly disagreements too!).

Are you ready for this deep dive into the world of marketing? Here is BeanCast #548 – In Libra We Trust.

For about an hour, we discussed the following topics:

Take a listen and jump into the fray