Facebook’s long-rumored cryptocurrency is officially called Libra, and Calibra is the name of its digital wallet, the social media giant announced on Tuesday. And with them, Facebook is aspiring to make financial transactions, as simple as sending a text message – which is also possibly why Calibra (which also happens to be the name of a newly formed Facebook subsidiary that will be in-charge of the Libra network) will be accessible via Messenger and WhatsApp, with an ETA set for 2020 – Facebook is also working on a standalone app that should launch simultaneously.
Even though Libra will be based on blockchain, it’ll be designed to be a much more ‘real’ asset than say Bitcoin, according to Facebook – it’ll be a sort of digital money more mainstream, and much more accessible, primarily in developing countries like India. “Calibra will let you send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone,” Facebook says, adding that, “in time, we hope to offer additional services for people and businesses, like paying bills with the push of a button, buying a cup of coffee with the scan of a code or riding your local public transit without needing to carry cash or a metro pass.”
Facebook is also announcing the Libra Association, a nonprofit community backed by 27 other partners including Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Spotify, Uber, and Vodafone, to oversee all things Libra. The Libra Association will be headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
Because it is Facebook, and Facebook hasn’t been very good at securing user data, security concerns are but obvious – but Facebook is promising nothing short of the moon here “to keep your money and your information safe.”
Facebook says, its cryptocurrency efforts will be subject to the same verification and anti-fraud processes used by banks and credit cards and its automated systems will “proactively monitor activity to detect and prevent fraudulent behavior.” Facebook is also promising a refund is “someone fraudulently gains access to your account and you lose some Libra as a result.” Moreover, “aside from limited cases Facebook will not share account information or financial data with Facebook or any third party without customer consent.”