Facebook reveals its new digital currency called Libra

Ann Santiago
June 19, 2019

And backing all this is The Libra Association, which Facebook says will be an independent, not-for-profit organisation.

Libra will have its own wallet app called Calibra, which will be built into Messenger, Instagram, and Whatsapp.

The lines between Facebook and Calibra will be blurred from the start.

Facebook is branching into cryptocurrency, unveiling a new blockchain-based currency called Libra that could challenge bitcoin.

Facebook executives and others associated with Libra have big aspirations. The company isn't positioning these projects as experiments; it's pitching them as the future of financial services.

Facebook is betting it can squeeze revenue out of its messaging services through transactions and payments, something already happening on Chinese social apps like WeChat.

Facebook's Project Libra has been officially unveiled and already reactions to the upcoming stablecoin are mixed.

"Freedom, justice and money, which is exactly what we're trying to do here", he said.

Some have called for Facebook to face penalties, or be forcibly broken up, for mishandling user data, allowing troubling material to appear on its site and not preventing Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election through a social media disinformation campaign.

Other regulators, lawmakers and government officials around the globe immediately issued critical statements about the matter, with a senior USA lawmaker asking Facebook to halt development and testify before Congress.

After the recent Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal, many are anxious that Facebook can no longer be trusted with sensitive user data - for worries that another breach could see this fall into the wrong hands.


Facebook hopes it can bring global regulators to the table by publicizing Libra, said Kevin Weil, who runs product for the initiative.

"Anything that works in this world will become instantly systemic and will have to be subject to the highest standards of regulation", Carney said, Bloomberg reported.

Facebook also is touting the new digital currency as a service for the 1.7 billion adults worldwide, by a World Bank estimate, who don't have access to a bank account, which could particularly benefit women and people in developing countries.

With Libra, Facebook is aiming to create a truly global digital currency that can help empower billions of people across the world.

"Libra" is being designed by a consortium of companies including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Uber. "In joining the Libra Association, there is an opportunity to better reach Spotify's total addressable market, eliminate friction and enable payments in mass scale". Each of these partners has agreed to invest at least $10 million in the project.

The group aims to raise money through a private placement in coming months.

A 3-D printed Facebook logo is seen on representations of virtual currency in this illustration picture, June 18, 2019.

"This reinforces my conviction on the need to regulate digital giants and ensure they are not in a monopolistic situation", he said. Each Libra will be backed by a basket of government-backed assets.

Facebook also could use its own currency to drive more people to make purchases from ads on its social media sites, said Gartner analyst Avivah Litan, who based her comments on press reports about Libra that preceded Facebook's formal announcement.

Calibra also won't share account or financial information for Facebook, aside from limited cases. That could include for law enforcement, public safety or general system functionality.

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