Facebook announces new cryptocurrency called 'Libra'

Lloyd Doyle
June 18, 2019

David Marcus, who is heading Facebook's cryptocurrency operation, tweeted on Tuesday that Libra is in part aimed at "the 1.7 billion people who are still unbanked 30 years after the invention of the web".

The digital currency, called Libra, is scheduled to launch sometime in the next six to 12 months.

Facebook today announced a new Calibra subsidiary that will provide a new cryptocurrency and financial infrastructure called Libra.

Libra is described as "a global, digitally native, reserve-backed cryptocurrency built on the foundation of blockchain technology". Unlike most cryptocurrencies now out there, Facebook's Libra will be backed by a reserve of real assets, which means its value will remain largely stable.

The Libra Association already has some big names on board as members.

Spotify is one of that body's founding "technology and marketplaces" partners, alongside the likes of eBay, Uber and Lyft, with MasterCard, Visa, PayPal and Stripe among the partners in its "payments" category. Apparently, many people around the world still don't benefit from even basic financial services, especially in developing countries. Eventually, extra services will be introduced, such as using it to pay bills, ordering food by scanning a code, and riding public transport without the need for cash or travel passes. The new app and currency will hope to reach a wide audience, including the many users of Facebook's services in developed countries as well as the roughly 50% of adults around the world who don't have a bank account of any kind. And backing all this is The Libra Association, which Facebook says will be an independent, not-for-profit organisation. Facebook did its best to allay those concerns today, saying that Calibra will have "all the same verification and anti-fraud processes that banks and credit cards use", including automated systems meant to detect and stop fraud. Facebook has confirmed that the wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app, with 2020 the expected launch date. Facebook says that Calibra will not share account information or financial data with its servers or any third party without customer consent.

The success of Calibra and its Libra cryptocurrency is not assured, of course.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article