Since Facebook announced the white paper for its crypto project, Libra, it’s fallen under intense criticism from regulators and the public alike. Many regulators would like to put Libra to the sword due to the social media company’s checkered past with privacy and customer data. And according to a recent survey, it seems most Americans don’t fancy the idea either.
Facebook and Libra: A Bad Reputation Across Board
On July 22, 2019, customer intelligence and research platform Civic Science published a survey indicating that a significant portion of Americans have issues trusting Libra. The company’s survey covered 1,799 adults in the United States, and the results weren’t encouraging for the emerging digital currency.
The poll revealed that only 5 percent of the respondents were remotely interested in the proposed digital asset and its accompanying wallet.
Thirty percent of those who did indicate interest in Libra were within the 18-to-24-year-old range, being both familiar with Facebook and having had experience with mobile payment processing.
The outlook for Bitcoin was slightly better. Citing a July survey in which about 2,100 American adults were asked about Bitcoin and other crypto assets, the report indicated that 79 percent of respondents claimed that they had heard of and were aware of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, only about 6 percent admitted to having crypto investments.
The survey reiterated a problem that Libra has not been able to successfully shake off: Facebook’s dismal record with data issues. In this category, Bitcoin maintained its edge over Libra. About 40 percent of respondents trusted Libra less than they did Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
“Only 2% [of respondents] trusted it more, while close to 20% felt they trusted Libra ‘about the same,’ with the remainder feeling uncertain,” according to the survey.
Don’t Bring Libra to Germany
A similar sentiment was reported by German financial association Bürgerbewegung Finanzwende. The association appraised the outcome of a survey that covered 2,093 German adults. Seventeen percent of respondents claimed that they weren’t even sure what to think about Libra.
In terms of trust, a staggering 79 percent of respondents were skeptical about the asset, with only 12 percent of the respondents saying that they would use the currency when it launches.
Facebook is proving quite unpopular in Germany. Fifty-two percent of respondents in the survey believed that Facebook had done enough damage, while 26 percent believed the tech giant can create further chaos if it’s allowed to expand into crypto.
Facebook’s Libra Strikes Out in the U.K.
The U.K. might be fixated on its Brexit deal, but its citizens can still recognize a bad deal when they see one. Libra is one product U.K. citizens are not so keen on, Telecoms.com reports.
Citing a survey from social networking platform Viber, the news platform revealed that 49 percent of respondents in a survey covering both Americans and Brits said that they wouldn’t trust Facebook when it comes to crypto.
The respondents specifically highlighted the difficulty of trusting Facebook to ensure their financial security when they use Libra.
In the U.K., 28 percent of the respondents said that they hadn’t decided, while only 4 percent said that they would trust Facebook. As for the United States, things were pretty similar, although even fewer people — just 2.5 percent of respondents — said that they can trust Facebook.
That’s three major tech markets that are uneasy about Facebook. In an article for Quartz magazine last month, Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin pointed out that Facebook seemed to be counting on the premise of trust for Libra, but it would be somewhat difficult, if not impossible, for users to do this.
“We are also increasingly aware of how much money Facebook makes from our data. What happens when you wrap your personal finances up in this, too? That our digital identity will never merge with Libra’s financial data is a hard perception to shake,” he wrote.
If anything, the recent survey proves that Facebook’s prospective approach to rely on trust has a long and difficult road ahead of it.
Jimmy has been following the development of blockchain for several years, and he is optimistic about its potential to democratize the financial system.