Facebook has announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency and a digital wallet to store it in. The digital currency is called Libra, with the digital wallet called Calibra. And both are set to become available sometime in 2020.
What Is Facebook’s New Cryptocurrency?
After months of rumors, Facebook has finally announced its new cryptocurrency. Facebook has revealed all in a post on the Facebook Newsroom. However, while it has started sharing details, the social network points out that the finer points could change.
The cryptocurrency is called Libra, which Facebook describes as “a new global currency powered by blockchain technology”. Libra will be stored in a digital wallet called Calibra, which will be “available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app”.
Libra would allow you to send money to “almost anyone with a smartphone” quickly and at “low to no cost”. Over time, Facebook hopes you’ll be able to use Libra to pay for other products and services, just as you would with Google Pay and Apple Pay.
Today, Facebook is coming together with 27 organizations around the world to start the non-profit Libra Association and…
Libra isn’t all about Facebook. Instead, the Libra Association will oversee the digital currency independent of Facebook. Members of the Libra Association include Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, eBay, Uber, Spotify, and a host of venture capital firms.
Just like Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Libra will be built on the foundation of a blockchain. However, Facebook is hoping to avoid fluctuations in value by pegging Libra to real-world currencies such as the US dollar and the Euro.
Facebook obviously wants everyone to use Libra, but it’s particularly targeting the billions of adults worldwide who do not currently have a bank account. This demonstrates Facebook’s ambition to become a key player in the future of money.
How to Sign Up to Use Libra and Calibra
Libra is listed as “Coming Soon,” with Facebook saying it expects to launch the wallet and currency sometime in 2020. If you would like to be one of the first to find out when Calibra is available, Facebook is inviting you to sign up here.
The big question is whether people trust Facebook enough to let the social network be in charge of their money. While Mark Zuckerberg and co. are making assurances about the sanctity and security of your financial data, there are reasons not to trust Facebook.