Interest in Libra is lacking, says report

Despite taking crypto into the mainstream, Facebook's Libra may not drive a high level of interest, according to a report from Civic Science. After surveying 1,799 U.S. adults, the study found only five percent of respondents expressed some level of interest in Libra.

Interest seems to be driven by a younger audience, with 18-24 year olds making up most of that five percent. This group also proved to be frequent Facebook users and had experience with payment apps like Venmo and Apple Pay.

The study also found that crypto has yet to reach a significant portion of respondents. Two-thirds said they had never invested and aren't interested and 21% said they'd never even heard of cryptocurrency. 

Respondents who had invested in crypto and those who hadn't but said they'd be interested cited long-term investment as the biggest reason for buying in. Libra is not an investment, but intended to be a payment system, according to its white paper.

Similarly, a top three reason cited by both groups was independence from governments. While Libra isn't beholden to one national government, it isn't decentralized, and is overseen by the Libra Association. In these ways, it is inconsistent with the needs some are looking to crypto to fulfill, according to the study.

Finally, the study shows Facebook lacks trust in the public sphere, with 77% of respondents answering "not at all" when asked if they trust the social media giant with their data. In addition to this, 40% of people said they trusted Libra less than Bitcoin and other cryptourrencies, with 35% selecting "much less." 

Surveyors said more research is needed to discern why people feel the way they've reported, but that Libra founders have more work to do to take their crypto mainstream.

About Author

Aislinn Keely joined The Block in the summer of 2019. She is a member of the outlet's policy team, holding down the legal beat. Before The Block, she lent her voice to the NPR affiliate WFUV, where she reported and anchored newscasts in addition to some podcast work. Aislinn is a proud Fordham Ram and editor-in-chief emerita of its newspaper. When she isn't writing or reporting, Aislinn is running and rock climbing.