By Gabriel Pe
Months after announcing its blockchain division, Facebook finally reveals that it is coming up with its own cryptocurrency, Libra, and its own digital wallet. The social networking site also announced its subsidiary that which will be called Calibra.
In a blog posted late Tuesday, Facebook announced that it is targeting a 2020 release date and hopes the new currency could help developing countries.
“For many people around the world, even basic financial services are out of reach,” the blog post states.
The blog post adds that 70% of small businesses lack access to credit and migrant workers lose $25 billion in bank remittances.
Facebook claims that Calibra would be able to send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone easily as you would send a message. The company added that the transaction comes to low or no costs at all. It also hopes that Libra could eventually replace the need for cash for immediate transactions like buying coffee or taking public transportation.
The company also assures potential users that the service would be safe and that they will be using the same verification and anti-fraud processes that banks and credit cards company use.
While the company is under fire for privacy policies, Facebook also assures that Calibra would not share any account and financial information with Facebook themselves and any other third party without consumers’ consent.
Several big companies have already partnered with Facebook for Libra, most notable of which are Visa, Mastercard, and Stripes. In Libra’s own website, Facebook notes that these partners form the Libra Association and would govern and implement the blockchain.
Additionally, Facebook says that Libra would have a more stable value than other cryptocurrencies as the company will implement a reserves system.
Users will be able to use Libra through the Messenger, WhatsApp and Calibri’s own application. There’s no word yet on the exact release date nor the starting value for the currency.