Facebook and 27 other organizations formally announced on Tuesday the creation of a new crypto currency, Libra, which can be used for both transactions between individuals and purchases in stores, and will be integrated into WhatsApp and Messenger from 2020.
Facebook, the main driving force behind Libra, explains: “The idea is to make financial transactions as simple as possible for everyone in the world, regardless of where they live and whether or not they have a bank account”.
Libra is based like all other crypto currencies on blockchain technology. The crypto currency, which has been speculated with for days but has not been officially confirmed until this Tuesday, will not depend directly on the company of Mark Zuckerberg, but will be managed by a consortium of companies grouped under the Libra Association based in Geneva (Switzerland). These companies, which are called “founding members” within the association, include, in addition to Facebook, Visa, Mastercard, Vodafone, PayPal, eBay, Spotify, Uber, Lyft, Booking Holdings (owner of Booking.com, Priceline.com and Kayak.com) and the Argentine e-commerce firm Mercado Libre, among others.
To carry out the integration of the crypto currency in its services, the company from Menlo Park (California, USA) will create a financial subsidiary, Calibra, which will depend entirely on Facebook and in which the rest of the founding members of the association will not participate. Calibra’s first product will be a digital wallet for Libra crypto coins initially accessible from WhatsApp and Messenger (both owned by Facebook), although company sources explained that plans are to expand in the future to other services such as Instagram or Facebook portal itself. The portfolio, which will also have its independent application for Android and iOS operating systems, will come out in 2020, “the sooner, the better,” they said from Facebook.
Given the large number of scandals related to privacy and data management of users who have splashed the company in recent months, this took pains to ensure that Calibra will not share account information or financial data with Facebook or third parties “without the consent of the customer”. Thus, according to the company, transactions carried out through Calibra will not influence, for example, in the ads that then appear to the user on the social network, unless the user has given express permission to do so. 😀 😀 😀