Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency and Calibra digital wallet won’t be available in certain markets.
The social media giant shared its plans for both projects, which aim to transform financial services worldwide by empowering the more than 1.7 billion people around the world who currently do not have a bank account. Libra is positioned as a currency that will offer more financial stability than fiat currencies in some developing economies, and Facebook says that it is currently in discussions with regulators, who, it claims, are eager to engage in conversations about it.
However, it has been revealed that there will be an equally large group of people who will not have access to the new payments service when it launches next year.
A Calibra spokesperson told reporters that the digital wallet will not available in a number of markets that are against cryptocurrency, or that have been sanctioned by the United States.
“The Libra Blockchain will be global, but it will be up to custodial wallet providers to determine where they will and will not operate. Calibra won’t be available in U.S.-sanctioned countries or countries that ban cryptocurrencies,” the spokesperson revealed.
India, Facebook’s biggest market, is reportedly among the list of countries where Calibra will not launch, as well as China, North Korea and Iran.
Earlier this week, Facebook said that Calibra will be available on WhatsApp, Messenger and through a standalone app, which led to confusion in India because WhatsApp already offers a person-to-person payments service in the country, WhatsApp Pay. In fact, India is the only market where WhatsApp currently offers the payments service, and it is available to one million users in India with plans to expand further into the country in the future.
A WhatsApp spokesperson told reporters that Facebook is committed to the efforts that it has made on WhatsApp Pay.