Facebook reveals its new digital currency called Libra

Yolanda Curtis
June 18, 2019

But while other crypto currencies are not widely used, Libra actually has real potential to substitute the U.S. dollar and any other currency in the world. Libra will let you send money to nearly anyone with a smartphone, as easily as a text message and at "low to no cost," Facebook says. While Facebook has created the cryptocurrency, it has put it in the hands of a non-profit organization that includes Mastercard, Visa, eBay, PayPal, Stripe, Uber, Lyft, and a bunch of other service providers and venture capital companies. According to the site, Libra is backed by a reserve that should allow it to remain more stable than some other cryptocurrencies, potentially enticing more users.

No direct mention was made of the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal involving the personally identifiable information of up to 87 million people, nor was the looming possibility of a USA antitrust investigation against Facebook and its Silicon Valley brethren referenced.

Facebook, since news of its cryptocurrency popped up, has been banking high on the new arena and with its official announcement, the new wallet could help attract more people and could compete with the likes if Google Pay and more. Two years ago, for instance, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg promised that "augmented reality", in which phones and other devices project digital images into real-world surroundings, would be a major focus for the company.

Calibra, a Facebook subsidiary, plans to build a digital wallet that will exist inside its Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp services to make it easy for people to send money to friends, family and businesses through the apps.

"Aside from limited cases, Calibra will not share account information or financial data with Facebook or any third party without customer consent".

The lines between Facebook and Calibra will be blurred from the start. Eventually, Libra could become even more universal than the dollar or the euro, transcending central banks and frontiers.

Facebook is handling the initial buildout of Libra. That could make the Libra blockchain a permanent record of all purchases or cash transfers every individual makes, even if they're stored under pseudonyms rather than real names.

Of course, Facebook's recent privacy blunders could very well leave many folks hesitant to use Calibra and Libra.

The social network has published a white paper explaining how Libra will work, although it won't actually launch until the first half of 2020.

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