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Facebook Crypto Products Not Coming to World’s Biggest Markets

Avatar Martin Young 11 months ago

Contrary to the beliefs of many crypto critics, Facebook’s Libra will not be a Bitcoin killer. In fact the new digital coin from billionaire Zuckerberg et al may not even be available to some of the world’s largest markets.

India Still Hates Crypto, Libra Included

The world’s largest social media company has no plans to launch its Calibra crypto wallet in India. Top government officials are still very anti-crypto in all forms, especially those created and controlled by multi-billion dollar US tech monopolies.

Speaking to Bloomberg, a Facebook spokesperson effectively ruled out the use of Libra in India stating:

“There are no plans to offer Calibra in India. As you may know, there are local restrictions within India that made a launch of Calibra not possible at this time.”

This would be a huge blow to Facebook since India is its largest market with over 300 million users according to Statista. Putting this into context, if India’s Facebook audience were a country then it would be ranked fifth in terms of largest population worldwide. Only three other nations have more than 100 million Facebook users.

Indian politicians and central bankers continue to crack down on crypto and a ban on banks dealing with digital assets, or clients trading them with fiat, is still in place. India’s economic affairs secretary, Subhash Garg, said that the country would not be comfortable with a private cryptocurrency.

Backlash Mounting Elsewhere

India is a huge potential market, as is China which has banned the social media platform in its entirety. As recently reported by NewsBTC, the People’s Bank of China is that concerned over a US dollar dominated centralized crypto asset controlled by US tech giants that is has ramped up research into its own cryptocurrency.

In all likelihood China’s equivalent, WeChat, may develop its own Libra rival. It already has a digital payments platform as does ecommerce giant Alibaba, so another billion plus people will not be getting Facebook’s coin.

Libra, which will be officially unveiled next year, has already provoked a lot of backlash and many regulators worldwide warned it might face strict regulation if it actually takes off.

In Thailand the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has floated the idea of launching its own stablecoin to be used domestically at first before expanding into region. According to local media reports regulators are also concerned over Libra. SET president Pakorn Peetathawatchai said:

“People’s trust is what Libra or any other cryptocurrency cannot steal from banks. How can we trust an intermediary that is not supervised by regulators?”

The list of countries expressing concern over a Facebook controlled cryptocurrency, and all the transaction data that goes with it, is growing by the day.

Image from Shutterstock
Martin Young

Martin is a Southeast Asia based info-tech, cyber security, and cryptocurrency analyst with 20 years working in web technology and media.

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