Facebook spearheads new consumer cryptocurrency “Libra”
By Timothy Nerozzi
July 11, 2019
Facebook may have developed a new way to monetize your privacy.
The California based company has officially unveiled a new cryptocurrency project being developed under the codename “Libra,” which will aim to circumnavigate Major banking systems and allow previously unserved populations with online currency transaction services.
Libra is being designed, tested, and monitored by a confederation of international corporations working in partnership with Facebook.
The Libra Association, the Swiss non-profit that will be responsible for the care of the Libra cryptocurrency, is a conglomeration of Facebook, Mastercard, Paypal, Visa, Andreessen Horowitz, and more than 23 other corporations.
The Libra Association hopes that this new cryptocurrency will fulfill the needs of the billions of people worldwide who do not have access to proper banking systems. Previously, this lack of access has been prohibitive toward the use of more mainstream and accepted virtual transaction services such as Venmo.
This new cryptocurrency will be backed directly by real-word currency – a Major difference that fundamentally changes the expected behavior of this block-chain ecosystem as opposed to other titans such as Bitcoin.
Bitcoin, the most popular and well-known cryptocurrency as of now, is not backed by any resources or financial systems. It is wholly separated from all other forms of banking and all other legal tenders. This means that Bitcoin’s value is notoriously volatile – often skyrocketing and plummeting hundreds or thousands of dollars in value at a time.
As time has gone on, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have ever so slowly steadied themselves – but Libra, backed by accepted tenders, promises to avoid this turbulence altogether.
Facebook has also announced a subsidiary of Libra aimed at the Facebook Messenger audience, called Calibra.
Calibra will be a virtual-wallet type service for use with the Libra cryptocurrency.
Facebook has, in the past, been the subject of public scrutiny over its track record of privacy violations and mismanagement of sensitive user information.
Previous revelations have included Facebook retaining videos their users believed they had deleted, scanning links and photos sent through the Messenger service, and allowing data firm Cambridge Analytica to collect data on hundreds of millions of users through scrupulous application privacy permissions.
Users’ spending patterns and transaction histories would almost certainly be available for viewing by Facebook and whatever other companies take direct roles in the back-end management of Libra.
Members of the Libra Association will be responsible for the issuance, deletion, and stabilization of the Libra currency.
While official voting procedures and input channels have yet to be formally chartered, power over the use and alteration of Libra would be shared among the dozens of billion-dollar companies involved in its development.