Libra Privacy and Adoption Research

With the announcement of Facebook's cryptocurrency - Libra, the team at Money Transfers decided to look into the potential impact this could have on privacy concerns surrounding Facebook, and whether this could affect consumer adoption of Libra.

Key Findings

  • Facebook users are divided on whether to store their money through a service such as Libra
  • Privacy is the main but not the only factor influencing the usage of Libra.
  • Cryptocurrencies could positively impact Facebook’s privacy concerns.
  • Facebook users will trust WhatsApp & Instagram to send money using Libra.

Here’s What We Did

Our research sample was of 2000 (18+) US citizens conducted by polling agency OnePoll, OnePoll are members of ESOMAR and employ members of the MRS. 

Each respondent was pre-qualified to have an active Facebook account to improve the relevancy of the data. We split the data by gender, age range, region and cryptocurrency experience. 

Here's What We Found

Facebookers Know Enough About Libra

To understand the impact on privacy concerns and the adoption of Facebook’s Libra, it was important to establish current awareness of Facebook's cryptocurrency.

We found that before taking the survey, 65.45% were aware of Facebook’s Libra. It’s worth noting, Libra has been receiving a lot of attention from the media lately increasing the overall awareness. We also found that the majority (80.71%) of those who traded cryptocurrencies before have heard of Facebook’s Libra (cryptocurrency experience tab).

Unsurprisingly, those who had more experience with cryptocurrencies are likely to follow the industry closer, hence are aware of recently launched Facebook’s Libra. This could mean that consumer adoption of Libra is likely to be impacted by previous experiences.

From this, we can establish that Libra is likely to appeal to those with cryptocurrency experience. One of the ways in which Facebook could improve Libra adoption is by educating their users about the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.

Storing Money via Libra Divides Users

With previous data issues, Facebook’s trust has fallen in the eyes of the user. More and more users are worried about the privacy of their data and are slowly losing the trust in the social giant. This could have a significant impact on the launch of Libra. 

Previous research has shown that 77% of respondents said they would not trust Facebook with personal information. As such, we decided to look into this trust factor in relation to Libra and the storing of users money.

We found that the majority of respondents (35.4%) were neutral (neither unlikely or likely) to trust Facebook to store their money through a service like Libra. However those who had traded cryptocurrency before, were more likely to trust Facebook than those who hadn’t. ING also found that having some knowledge about cryptocurrencies improves attitude towards them.

We’ve also looked at the cryptocurrency aspect of the Libra and found that 47.65% believe that use of cryptocurrencies for online payments abroad will improve Facebook's privacy concerns followed by 25.05% stating that it won’t affect their privacy concerns.

This implies that the history of Facebook's personal data handling should not impact Facebook's Libra plans. Instead, the usage of a cryptocurrency is likely to improve the privacy concerns that users are experiencing in a positive manner.  Again, we found that those who never heard or never traded cryptocurrencies trust Facebook’s Libra less compared to those who have.

Trust & adoption of any product can depend on numerous factors such as user demographics, experiences and personal preferences. To fully understand the current state of Libra awareness, we’ve broken down our results by demographics: age range, gender and regions. 

It was interesting to find in terms of age brackets 18-24 were unlikely to trust Facebook to store their money compared to 25-34 who were neutral and 35-44 who were more likely to trust Facebook.

According to Statista, over half of Facebook’s users are females in the US. Our research has found that males were much more likely to trust Facebook’s Libra to store money. This could mean that Facebook should be focusing more on females adoption of the Libra.

It's About Privacy, Tech and UX

Previous research has shown that users were unlikely to use Facebook’s Libra, however, as of now it is hard to say how Libra is going to be rolled out to the public. With lack of knowledge into something that hasn’t come out yet, it is predicted that users are more likely to not use Facebook's Libra. 

As such we’ve decided to focus on the factors that might influence the user to use Libra if they were going to:

Our data extends previous research even further as we found that technology and user experience will also have a significant effect on the adoption of Libra. We found that age and gender will impact the criteria for adoption and potential use. 

We found that all respondents (irrespective of the cryptocurrency experience) found the privacy and security of their data as the most influential factor (35.4%) to use Libra. Followed by the technology used i.e blockchain (22.75%). We also found that those who traded (18.75%) and those who heard but never traded cryptocurrencies (13.02%) found ease of day to day use as the third most influential factor.

It was interesting to find that the privacy & security of data is more important to females (38.43%) compared to males (26.78%). Whereas technology used (24.53%) & ease of using day to day (17.98%) is more important to males compared to females.

We also found that amongst 18-24-year-olds the integration with Instagram (10.58%) and integration with 3rd party services such as Uber (8.62%) was more influential than compared to other age groups. This data implies that different age groups will have different applications for the cryptocurrency.

Libra Might Improve Privacy Concerns

A number of studies compared Libra to other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin but failed to determine the impact using a cryptocurrency might have on Facebook’s privacy concerns. We looked to understand whether knowing that Facebook will be utilising cryptocurrencies could impact any privacy concerns a user might have with Facebook.

Majority of all respondents (regardless of age groups, regions and cryptocurrency experience) believe that Facebook's use of cryptocurrency will either improve their privacy concerns or won’t impact it at all.

We found that 47.65% believe that the use of a cryptocurrency for online payments will improve Facebook's privacy concerns followed by 25.05% stating that it won’t affect their privacy concerns.

From those who traded cryptocurrencies before, more than half (57.35%) believe that it will improve Facebook's privacy concerns. As well as those who haven’t traded or heard of cryptocurrencies, said that it will not impact their privacy concerns. 

This tells us that even though Facebook is having trust and privacy issues from users, the use of cryptocurrencies will not impact these concerns even further. In fact, based on our results, it might improve their current privacy position.

Users Trust WhatsApp / Instagram

At launch, Facebook will be integrating Libra into WhatsApp & Instagram and potentially rolling it out into other products & services they own. It will be a massive factor in the adoption of Libra, hence it was important for us to understand whether users would be trusting other Facebook products if they knew it utilized cryptocurrency.

We found that users are likely to trust Libra for money transfers within WhatsApp and/or Instagram.

We found that 51% of respondents (males and females, 18-54) will trust other Facebooks services such as WhatsApp & Instagram for online payments if they were to utilise cryptocurrencies for payments.

Those who traded cryptocurrency before, are much more likely to trust Facebook services to send money (68.48%). There as those who have heard but never traded & those who never heard of cryptocurrencies are unlikely to trust other Facebook services (48.77% & 69.70% respectively).

Knowing that users are likely to trust Libra within WhatsApp and/or Instagram greatly increases the opportunities and brings confidence to the overall project. 

Knowing that Facebook’s users are willing to trust WhatsApp & Instagram hints that it might not be the Facebook company that has privacy issues, but the Facebook products. Clearly users are willing to trust WhatsApp/Instagram for money transfers if they utilised cryptocurrencies. This also supports our previous finding that cryptocurrency might be the way to improve Facebook’s privacy concerns.

Full Survey Results

1. What is your experience with cryptocurrencies?

Choice%
I've traded them58.85%
I've heard of them, but have not traded them34.55%
I've never heard of them6.60%

Gender Breakdown

ChoiceMaleFemaleOther genderPrefer not to say
I've traded them66.29%52.01%32.43%19.23%
I've heard of them, but have not traded them27.43%41.31%54.05%73.08%
I've never heard of them 6.27%6.67%13.51%7.69%

Age Range

Choice18-2425-3435-4445-5455+
I've traded them72.88%59.24%67.77%44.85%16.84%
I've heard of them, but have not traded them 20.34%34.26%27.96%49.26%64.21%
I've never heard of them 6.78%6.51%4.27%5.88%18.95%

Region

ChoiceNortheastSoutheastSouthwestMidwestWest
I've traded them 61.89%52.68%56.84%45.72%70.84%
I've heard of them, but have not traded them 34.58%39.51%33.51%44.24%24.83%
I've never heard of them 3.54%7.80%9.65%10.04%4.33%

2. Before seeing this survey were you aware of Facebook's project Libra?

Choice%
Yes65.45%
No34.55%

Gender

ChoiceMaleFemaleOther genderPrefer not to say
Yes70.69%60.07%64.86%30.77%
No29.31%39.93%35.14%69.23%

Age Range

Choice18-2425-3435-4445-5455+
Yes69.49%68.10%70.14%51.47%25.26%
No30.51%31.90%29.86%48.53%74.74%

Region

ChoiceNortheastSoutheastSouthwestMidwestWest
Yes66.21%66.10%60.86%58.36%72.21%
No33.79%33.90%39.14%41.64%27.79%

Cryptocurrency Experience

ChoiceI've traded themI've heard of them, but have not traded themI've never heard of them
Yes80.71%48.34%18.94%
No19.29%51.66%81.06%

3. How likely are you to trust Facebook to store your money through a service such as Libra? Please select best match where 1 = very unlikely, and 5 = very likely

Choice%
112.20%
218.65%
335.40%
417.25%
516.50%
Average3.07

Gender

ChoiceMaleFemaleOther GenderPrefer not To Say
110.21%15.07%5.41%7.69%
216.85%20.37%32.43%15.38%
333.15%36.48%54.05%65.38%
417.79%17.38%5.41%7.69%
522%10.70%2.70%3.85%
Average3.252.882.682.85

Age Range

Choice18-2425-3435-4445-5455+
122.88%8.54%9.95%16.91%49.47%
214.41%22.78%9.24%19.12%11.58%
341.53%36.62%33.41%33.09%24.21%
412.71%17.82%21.09%13.97%3.16%
58.47%14.24%26.30%16.91%11.58%
Average2.693.063.452.952.16

Region

ChoiceNortheastSoutheastSouthwestMidwestWest
117.68%13.41%7.77%9.67%10.02%
216.50%18.78%24.13%20.07%15.49%
335.95%37.80%36.46%42.01%27.56%
413.95%19.51%17.43%17.10%18.91%
515.91%10.49%14.21%11.15%28.02%
Average2.942.953.0633.39

Cryptocurrency Experience

ChoiceI've traded themI've heard of them, but have not traded themI've never heard of them
17.39%18.23%23.48%
217.08%20.69%21.97%
332.46%40.67%34.09%
419.97%13.02%15.15%
523.11%7.38%5.30%
Average3.342.712.57

4. If you were to use Facebook's cryptocurrency Libra for money transfers & online payments, which factor from the below would be the most influential in your potential decision to use it?

Choice%
Ease of using it day to day15.90%
The privacy and security of my data32.95%
The technology used i.e. Blockchain22.75%
Whether it's integrated with Instagram7.95%
Whether it's integrated with Whatsapp6.75%
Whether it's integrated with 3rd party services i.e. Uber7.50%
None of the above6.20%

Gender

ChoiceMaleFemaleOther genderPrefer not to say
Ease of using it day to day 17.98%14.04%2.70%11.54%
The privacy and security of my data 26.78%38.43%67.57%53.85%
The technology used i.e. Blockchain 24.53%20.48%21.62%26.92%
Whether it's integrated with Instagram 8.24%8.06%2.70%0%
Whether it's integrated with Whatsapp 8.52%5.06%0%0%
Whether it's integrated with 3rd party services i.e. Uber 8.99%6.10%2.70%0%
None of the above 4.96%7.83%2.70%7.69%

Age Range

Choice18-2425-3435-4445-5455+
Ease of using it day to day 22.88%14.08%21.09%13.97%10.53%
The privacy and security of my data 30.51%30.84%31.52%45.59%51.58%
The technology used i.e. Blockchain 14.41%25.71%21.09%18.38%8.42%
Whether it's integrated with Instagram 5.08%10.58%4.74%2.21%0%
Whether it's integrated with Whatsapp 8.47%7.24%6.64%4.41%2.11%
Whether it's integrated with 3rd party services i.e. Uber 4.24%8.62%7.82%3.68%1.05%
None of the above 14.41%2.93%7.11%11.76%26.32%

Region

ChoiceNortheastSoutheastSouthwestMidwestWest
Ease of using it day to day 21.41%15.12%12.06%9.67%17.31%
The privacy and security of my data 34.18%38.05%29.49%30.48%31.21%
The technology used i.e. Blockchain 18.86%16.59%32.44%14.87%29.61%
Whether it's integrated with Instagram 4.32%12.44%9.12%10.78%5.24%
Whether it's integrated with Whatsapp 6.48%6.83%5.90%8.55%6.61%
Whether it's integrated with 3rd party services i.e. Uber 6.09%6.83%5.90%16.36%5.69%
None of the above 8.64%4.15%5.09%9.29%4.33%

Cryptocurrency Experience

ChoiceI've traded themI've heard of them, but have not traded themI've never heard of them
Ease of using it day to day 18.27%13.02%9.85%
The privacy and security of my data 28.12%41.97%28.79%
The technology used i.e. Blockchain 26.93%16.79%16.67%
Whether it's integrated with Instagram 8.16%7.53%8.33%
Whether it's integrated with Whatsapp 7.31%5.35%9.09%
Whether it's integrated with 3rd party services i.e. Uber 7.90%6.66%8.33%
None of the above 3.31%8.68%18.94%

5. Does knowing that Facebook will be using a cryptocurrency for payments, money transfers and online payments affect any privacy concerns you may have with Facebook?

Choice%
Yes it makes them worse 20.80%
Yes it makes them better 47.65%
No it doesn't affect my privacy concerns 25.05%
N/A - I don't have privacy concerns 6.50%

Gender

ChoiceMaleFemaleOther genderPrefer not to say
Yes it makes them worse 21.25%21.40%5.41%3.85%
Yes it makes them better 50.19%45.57%37.84%26.92%
No it doesn't affect my privacy concerns 21.07%27.96%48.65%57.69%
N/A - I don't have privacy concerns 7.49%5.06%8.11%11.54%

Age Range

Choice18-2425-3435-4445-5455+
Yes it makes them worse 27.12%18.06%22.27%25%35.79%
Yes it makes them better 35.59%51.99%52.84%26.47%13.68%
No it doesn't affect my privacy concerns 23.73%23.27%18.96%44.85%48.42%
N/A - I don't have privacy concerns 13.56%6.67%5.92%3.68%2.11%

Region

ChoiceNortheastSoutheastSouthwestMidwestWest
Yes it makes them worse 26.92%23.17%8.85%15.61%24.83%
Yes it makes them better 39.10%45.12%53.89%50.93%52.62%
No it doesn't affect my privacy concerns 24.56%27.32%30.03%26.77%18.22%
N/A - I don't have privacy concerns 9.43%4.39%7.24%6.69%4.33%

Cryptocurrency Experience

ChoiceI've traded themI've heard of them, but have not traded themI've never heard of them
Yes it makes them worse 21.58%21.56%9.85%
Yes it makes them better 57.35%36.18%21.21%
No it doesn't affect my privacy concerns 17.08%36.47%36.36%
N/A - I don't have privacy concerns 3.99%5.79%32.58%

6. Would you trust other Facebook services such as WhatsApp or Instagram for sending money & payments if you knew they utilised cryptocurrency for their payments technology?

Choice%
Yes 51.50%
No 35.15%
Not sure 13.35%

Gender

ChoiceMaleFemaleOther genderPrefer not to say
Yes 58.61%44.76%29.73%15.38%
No 30.15%40.28%43.24%57.69%
Not sure 11.24%14.96%27.03%26.92%

Age Range

Choice18-2425-3435-4445-5455+
Yes 56.78%50.45%63.27%44.12%16.84%
No22.03%39.79%23.93%32.35%45.26%
Not sure21.19%9.76%12.80%23.53%37.89%

Region

ChoiceNortheastSoutheastSouthwestMidwestWest
Yes 54.81%43.41%40.48%50.56%65.15%
No31.04%43.41%48.53%33.83%21.64%
Not Sure14.15%13.17%10.99%15.61%13.21%

Cryptocurrency Experience

ChoiceI've traded themI've heard of them, but have not traded themI've never heard of them
Yes68.48%30.82%8.33%
No23.28%48.77%69.70%
Noy Sure8.24%20.41%21.97%
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    Artiom
    Written By
    Artiom
    Artiom coordinates the PR and Outreach for MoneyTransfers.com. A marketing graduate from the University of Portsmouth, Artiom’s primary experience is in PR and Outreach but he has a broad knowledge of search engine optimisation and all facets of digital marketing. He optimises the organic experience on MoneyTransfers.com with the content team manages and creates unique marketing tactics, and generally supports the overall growth of the website.