Headline July 26, 2019/ '' 'LARKS-LIGHT -THE WORLD'S- LIGHT-HOUSE' ''



THE WORLD STUDENTS SOCIETY - the exclusive, eternal ownership of every student in the world, stops and rises to pay respects to its:

! First Honorary President, Ms Sajida Sultan Abbasi. !

This very brave Lady, and mother of a very unique class and distinction, has the singular honor of having four, yes, 4 of her very talented and smashingly good looking children, as the Founding  Members of The World Students Society :

Merium, Rabo, Haider and Aqsa.

The World Students Society gives her and the family a standing ovation. And prays for a happy and a contented future for all of them.

Incontinuation, say, in the Developing and Rising world of Proud Pakistan, around 100 million adults lack access to financial services. How many of them use mobile internet and social media apps and grasp the concept of cryptocurrency?

It is very, very difficult to imagine how Libra is going to be accessible for this excluded population.

Proud Pakistan : Women fare worse in access than men. According to GSMA, 327 million fewer women use mobile internet in low and middle-income countries.

Women in Pakistan are 45 percent less likely than men to own a mobile phone and 63 percent less likely use mobile internet.

Social norms are a significant barrier to women's access to smartphones, mobile internet and social media apps.

Inability to read and write and  low digital literacy also prevent women [and men] from using mobile phones for much beyond phone calls.

It is unlikely that there will be significant uptake of cryptocurrency - an obscure concept - amongst this population, many of whom are neither digitally ready nor financially literate. 

Another big barrier is mistrust of banks. According to Gallup, over a third of adults in Pakistan do not trust financial institutions.

Would they be more likely to trust Facebook - a company with a poor data privacy record and dozens scandals and lawsuits under its belt.

Finally, physical distance from the banks is a significant cause of financial exclusion. Branchless banking providers have made great progress with over 400,000 branches banking agents across Pakistan.

There is no reason to believe Libra would have greater reach and more success with this model than traditional mobile phone providers.

As of  now, Libra seems only to be catering to the tech-savvy people with bank accounts, who can buy the currency online.

Financial inclusion aside, could Libra be a boon for cryptocurrencies? An association of big corporations proposing a stable currency could bring the legitimacy this technology needs.

But here, too, Libra falls short. For purists, Libra betrays the spirit of cryptocurrency as it is not [yet]  decentralised.

Nakamoto's rationale in creating Bitcoin was to give power back to the people and remove their dependence on third parties.

With Libra, rather than trusting traditional financial institutions, we would now be asked to trust an elite group of corporations led  Mark Zuckerberg, a 'tech bro' notorious for breaching our trust.

From silver coins, to gold standard, to fiat currency, cryptocurrency may well be next step in the evolution of money.

Change is required in a financial system that does not work for the majority., but Libra is not the answer. Given how many of our daily interactions, Facebook already surveils, misuses and monetises, Libra poses a great threat.

If there is widespread adoption of Libra among Facebook's 2 billion users, it could make Facebook -and Zuckerberg - more powerful than any government or multilateral institution.

With respectful dedication to all Leaders, Grandparents, Parents, Students, Professors and Teachers, and then, All Generations To Follow.

See Ya all on Facebook and prepare to register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter !E-WOW!, the Ecosystem 2011:

''' Libra & Larks '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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