Will Facebook's new initiative to create a cryptocurrency do the same for money and payment systems? Most likely no, but the creation of its Libra will take a step in the right direction, away from dollar monopolization and mediated payment systems toward genuine choice in currency.
The greatest single contribution of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency generally is that it taught the world that money can be subject to market-based innovation. It can be more than what we knew. Most strikingly, crypto wraps together the medium of exchange and the means of payment, making it possible effectively to use cash, peer-to-peer, all over the world, without having to tap the services of a third-party supplier.
That's completely new. Two decades ago, no one even believed such a thing was possible.
It had been so long since there had been any real innovation in monetary technology that it was tempting to believe it couldn't happen. Forever, it was believed, money would be codified by government, printed in physical form by a government bureaucracy, and made digital by banks and credit card companies that bear the bulk of the counterparty risk. With that system came high costs, long waits for final settlement, and many layers of permission.