Facebook plans to launch its digital currency platform, Libra, next year.
Coincidentally, the name Libra comes from the Roman measurement of weight - its why we measure pounds of weight in lbs.
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.
Deeply aware of its reputation on privacy, Facebook ($FB) is handing over management of the project to an independent, non-profit consortium based in Switzerland, which is now comprised of more than two-dozen companies ー from tech stalwarts like Uber ($UBER) and Spotify ($SPOT) to payment and credit-card processors like Visa ($V) and MasterCard ($MA) ー that will be known as the Libra Association.
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Maya Zehavi, a blockchain consultant and entrepreneur, said Facebook appears to be using "magic blockchain buzzwords" to encourage trust about a product with few of the transparency or security guarantees that allowed Bitcoin to bloom. "Given the company's troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a cryptocurrency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action".
Libra should become available for purchase with cash at retail outlets, David Marcus, who leads the effort at Facebook, said in an interview.
The Libra Association says it aims to eventually open this up to anyone who wants to participate, but it says the technology just isn't there yet. It is being built on blockchain technology, and people will be able to send, receive spend and secure their money in what is described as a more inclusive global financial system.
Meant to be officially released in 2020, the digital currency is powered by blockchain technology.
According to the association, more than 1.7 billion people around the world do not belong to a financial institution and have difficulty accessing money. We also believe it's important for people to have choices so you'll have the options to use many other third-party wallets on the Libra network.
Libra's blockchain presently exists as an open-source prototype called Libra Core.
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MoneyGram has obvious self-interest in raising questions about Facebook's plans, as do other cross-border payments businesses and banks who question the viability of Libra.
A new narrative that has recently come to light is the idea that Facebook's crypto asset, slated to allow for low-priced, rapid value transfers, will threaten the U.S. Dollar and traditional banking system.
Facebook's announcement was met with immediate backlash from US lawmakers and regulators across the globe, who are concerned that Facebook is already too massive and careless with users' privacy. Presently, some noted "backers" of the Libra project include Uber, Visa, MasterCard, Spotify, Coinbase, Lyft, Paypal, among others. Apparently a billion people have a phone but do not have a bank account and Facebook seems to be targeting this demographic.
Facebook, the social media giant, is the newest member of the crypto world after it officially launched its whitepaper on its website today.
Mr Stalnaker, chief strategy officer of Hub Culture, said: The Facebook Libra project is set to make waves in the world of cryptocurrency and in the traditional world of banks..
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