Facebook’s Libra project, announced this summer, shook up politicians and regulators by showing how quickly the digital money race is accelerating.
To understand what’s going on, we need to look at a few key areas of competition, says Huw van Steenis, a banker at UBS and one of the world’s leading finance analysts.
“Libra has brought four issues together,” he says.
“First, there’s the tokenisation of money, and how this can be used to reduce friction in the system.”
“Second, there’s the question of whether payment should be done on bank infrastructure rails, credit card rails or a completely new set of rails, as in China.”
“Third, who should control digital wallets? Should it be big tech companies, telcos or banks?”
“Finally, who gets to control the data and the ecosystem that goes around it?”
Listen to our interview with van Steenis in the latest episode of our podcast.
Huw van Steenis
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