Facebook has released the whitepaper of its Cryptocurrency Libra to let you buy things or send money to people with nearly zero fees. Built and maintained by Facebook, Calibra is a cryptocurrency wallet that lets users send and receive Libra coins. Users can buy or cash out Libra online or at local exchange points like grocery stores and spend it using interoperable third-party wallet apps or Facebook’s WhatsApp, Messenger and its own app. The public launch is expected in the first half of 2020.
Facebook won’t control Libra, but instead get right to vote in its governance like other founding members of the Libra Association which have invested at least $10 million each into the project’s operations.
List of the Libra Association’s Founding Members at launch: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU, Stripe, Visa, Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook, Farfetch, Lyft, Mercado Pago, Spotify, Uber, Iliad, Vodafone, Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Xapo, Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures, Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps and Women’s World Banking.
Let’s take a look at a story of Project Libra
The Story of Project Libra
Internally, codenamed Project Libra, Facebook is all set to roll out its own Cryptocurrency. The entry of Facebook in the world of Blockchain development solutions, Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency is all set to transform digital payments. Blockchain is changing dynamics for a diverse range of industries from Healthcare IT solutions to Finance IT solutions.
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and chief executive of Facebook has been in multiple round of discussion regarding Project Libra. Facebook started hiring for its Cryptocurrency-based payments on its platform that has 2.38 billion users. Reportedly, Zuckerberg has been in round of talks with United States Treasury officials on operational and regulatory matters related to the launch of Cryptocurrency — regarding identity checks procedures and mitigating risks.
The social networking giant also set up a group of elite within the company, headed by Messenger Chief David Marcus who formerly headed up the Messenger division at the tech giant, and previously ran PayPal. Marcus is exploring Blockchain technology, measure different avenues and potential use for the platform.
The former head of engineering at Facebook-owned Instagram, James Everingham is the company’s head of Blockchain engineering. His former colleague, Kevin Weil (previously Instagram’s VP of product) is now blockchain VP of product at Facebook.
Facebook had been in talks with both the Coinbase and Gemini exchanges seeking to prepare third-party, regulated platforms for users of its coin to store and exchange the asset. It is worth noting that Gemini is founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Zuckerberg’s legal adversaries the Winklevoss twins run a run a highly regulated exchange.
The idea of transferring money through Whatsapp may become a reality soon with Facebook’s GlobalCoin. Reportedly in talks with a number of online merchants to accept the currency as payment in return for lower transaction fees.
- Facebook looked for $1 billion in funding to support the project, and has held talks with payments giants including Visa and Mastercard, according to reports.
- Facebook reportedly discussed with the US Treasury to eliminate the hazards of money laundering risks.
How to Use Facebook’s Cryptocurrency
- Digital currency project that will allow users to transfer the Cryptocurrency using mobile-messaging app WhatsApp.
- Could be used to buy things on the Internet and in outlets, or even to transfer money to another user.
- Paying users fractions of a coin for activities such as viewing ads and interacting with content related to online shopping, similar to loyalty schemes run by retailers.
Challenges & Road Ahead
Facebook has been in troubled water for the past few years. Several controversies have marred the social media giant such as failing to protect user privacy, fake news, as well as Russian interfere with U.S. elections and more. Facebook knows it is an uphill task to win trust with a new currency; the company is reportedly seeking partners to form a foundation to govern the new cryptocurrency. Furthermore, the company will have to ensure compliance across different countries.
Facebook’s entry into the world of Cryptocurrency will mark a remarkable change in digital payment and move to the next level.