Facebook Libra
Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook (Image: White House)

Facebook’s cryptocurrency launched this week. It is called Libra and, as the name implies, promises freedom. Going by Libra's aims, the currency could do great good in the world. It could also, however, cause destabilising shifts in power.

For the poorest

Libra appears to be aimed at the unbanked -- the billions of people in the world without access to financial services. The UN estimates 2 billion adults have no bank account and argues remedying this is a crucial part of the fight against global poverty. 

Facebook appears to be coming to the rescue: “Large swaths of the world's population are still left behind — 1.7 billion adults globally remain outside of the financial system with no access to a traditional bank, even though one billion have a mobile phone and nearly half a billion have internet access.”