Like many of you, I presume, I too heard about the big news around Facebook announcing its own cryptocurrency, called Libra, to do… something. And like many of you (probably), I’m still digging deep into the secondary texts to figure out what, exactly, is going on, and from what I’ve been able to marginally discern, strategically, it seems like a major play to seed the conditions for a transactional environment that can facilitate more value exchanges on Facebook’s platform — and other major digital platforms — and can go beyond the limitations of conventional banking. Obviously, the question is power: Facebook-as-new-banking-system is just about as Mr. Robot as one could reasonably fanfiction. (On the flipside: Samsung and South Korea?)
Anyway, why is this specifically relevant to us here in this podcast newsletter? Because Spotify. According to the Variety report, Spotify is part of a consortium of companies called the Libra Association — which includes Facebook, other major tech companies like Uber and Stripe, telco giant Vodafone Group, VC heavyweights a16z and Union Square Ventures, and some nonprofit orgs, among others — that’s meant to help govern the use of the Libra tech. And Spotify, in specific, believes the digital currency can help subscriptive services drive more paid subscribers; i.e. to tap into markets and demographics that previously encountered friction off conventional banking. So there’s that.