8 Things to Know About Facebook’s Coming Libra Cryptocurrency
It’s been a month since Facebook announced its plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, called ‘Libra’, in 2020. And ever since then everyone from Mark Cuban to President Trump has voiced an opinion on the move.
The dust has (somewhat) settled, and we’re excited to see how this project unfolds in the months to come.
Whether the cryptocurrency will blossom into a unicorn, or fall flat like a donkey, remains to be seen.
There’s still so much to learn about Libra and how it will work – for now, however, here are nine concrete things we know about Libra.
1. Libra’s mission is to create a simple global currency accessible to all
Facebook’s aim with Libra is straightforward – to create a global currency that all people can access.
Libra states that 1.7 billion adults currently don’t have access to a financial system or bank. Facebook believes that a new, stable cryptocurrency could be the solution to this, and related problems.
2. Libra will run on blockchain, and was created with the programming language Move
The Libra Blockchain is designed to meet three key requirements:
- It must be highly secure
- It must be flexible and adaptable to future innovations and governance requirements
- It must be scalable to billions of accounts, with high capacity and low latency
This technical paper has more details on the Libra framework.
3. Facebook will not control the currency
Facebook will have no special rights or privileges concerning the cryptocurrency, but will merely serve as one of many Libra stakeholders.
There’s a range of high profile organizations which are already backing the currency:
Facebook’s goal is to grow this list to 100 companies, all of whom will be responsible for making decisions concerning the direction of Libra. Above that, the Libra Association, an independent, not-for-profit membership organization, will serve as the governing entity of Libra.
4. Facebook users will be able to use the currency using the platform
Unsurprisingly, Facebook will allow users to make transactions with Libra.
Facebook will also have a special wallet for Libra called Calibra.
5. Libra is set to launch in mid-2020 – but it may never see the light of day
Since announcing the project, Facebook has received significant backlash from financial regulators and legislators.
Then there’s the fact that laws concerning digital currency are still developing, and the slow user adoption of cryptocurrency in general.
Given all of these hurdles, it is still possible that the project will never make it off the ground.
6. David Marcus is heading up the Libra efforts at Facebook
David Marcus has been with Facebook since 2014, and served as the vice president of messaging products before taking on his new role as “head of Calibra” (in reference to Facebook’s Libra wallet).
Before working for Facebook, Marcus was the president of Paypal, and the founder of Zong, a mobile payments provider that was acquired by eBay for $240 million in 2011.
7. Stay up to date with all things Libra on their social channels
Libra’s social channels are up and running – follow along and you’ll be the first to know about any new updates with the cryptocurrency.
Check them out:
8. President Trump recently spoke out against Libra
On July 11, President Trump took to Twitter to express his concerns over Libra – and cryptocurrencies in general:
The President’s disapproval could be another signal of potential difficulty for Libra, which, as noted, is still some time away from launch, and may never see the light of day.
All in all, it’s difficult to make any real assessment of the impact of Facebook’s coming cryptocurrency, but what we do know is that it’s likely to become a major point of focus moving forward, at least in the short term.
It could change online exchange as we know it, or it could fizzle out. We’ll have to wait and see how it Libra progresses.
A version of this post was first published on Inc.com.