The Truth About Facebook’s Crypto Launch

One the biggest technology stories of the week maybe the year is Facebook’s announcements around their token/payment/coin – Libra. Here is The Block’s coverage of it.

Long time Bitcoin bull and investor in all things crypto Barry Silbert had this to say:

The launch of Facebook’s cryptocurrency will go down in history as THE catalyst that propelled digital assets (including bitcoin) to mass global consumer adoption. Will be remembered as just as important — and transformative — as the launch of the Netscape browser

I liked my friend Chris Perruna’s more cynical take:

The Facebook crypto sounds to me like a centralized coin backed by corporations (looking to clean up on trillions in transaction fees), defeating the purpose of decentralized crypto.

I personally think it’s just more bad news for banks as their fees move to others. In a single year, the three largest banks earn/take the following in fees:

$1.1 billion in ATM fees.
$2.3 billion in maintenance fees.
$5.4 billion in overdraft fees.

Big tech and crypto are coming for those fees.

It feels like the Facebook crypto initiative has a great shot at getting traction. Hundreds of millions of people will get a taste of moving money in and out digital currencies as they pay for goods and services. I think it’s bullish for Bitcoin, Facebook, Visa and Mastercard and Paypal (I am long all but Visa).

These initiatives won’t stop in the coming years which is another reason bank stocks will likely continue to underperform.