Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Facebook reveals cryptocurrency Libra

Facebook to launch new cryptocurrency, called Libra Facebook Libra cryptocurrency revealed with Calibra digital wallet to manage it
Russell Knight | 19 June, 2019, 22:00

Some have called for Facebook to face penalties, or be forcibly broken up, for mishandling user data, allowing troubling material to appear on its site and not preventing Russian interference in the 2016 USA presidential election through a social media disinformation campaign.

While Facebook is the only member to announce a digital wallet, others such as MasterCard and Visa would be able to build their own in the future. We don't need Libra; for us, traditional United States dollars work just fine.

Facebook hopes it will not only power transactions between established consumers and businesses globally, but offer non-banking consumers access to financial services.

Chen said the global currency is the "most invasive and unsafe form of surveillance they have devised thus far". It will also be backed by a reserve fund, whereas bitcoin is not.

Libra, set to be launched next year, will let people make payments via Facebook's apps and WhatsApp. The association will act as a monetary authority for the digital currency. Waters, a Democrat, has called for a halt in Facebook's development of its cryptocurrency.

How will I get Libra?

Facebook has engaged with regulators in the United States and overseas about the planned cryptocurrency, company executives said.

A US regulatory source briefed on the matter said Facebook had been in communication with USA regulators but added it was still unclear how the currency would be structured and whether it would directly fall under any existing US regulatory regimes.

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Facebook's privacy practices have been under fire for years, but the company has faced increased scrutiny over the last few months. Facebook says it has the lofty goal of bringing financial services to the 1.7 billion around the world who still don't have bank accounts. The social media company could face a record-setting fine of up to $5 billion from the Federal Trade Commission, which has been investigating Facebook for allegedly failing to protect user privacy.

The subsidiary would only share customer data with Facebook or external parties if it had consent, or in "limited cases" where it was necessary, Facebook said.

Jon Swartz, senior tech reporter at MarketWatch.com told CTV News Channel that gaining public and regulator trust will be Facebook's biggest hurdle in launching Libra.

As a platform selling luxury goods, this type of technology could potentially help Farfetch and the brands behind the products it sells (it sells 2,000-plus designers including Fendi, Gucci and Prada, from over 700 boutiques around the world) to authenticate the quality of a garment and stamp out counterfeits - both challenges luxury brands have long faced.

How could it benefit users?

In a note to clients Wednesday, analyst Michael Graham wrote that Facebook's Libra Network, unveiled on Tuesday, would seemingly benefit the blockchain space, unbanked individuals and (to some "modest" amount) Facebook's bottom line.

There is no official launch date for Facebook's digital wallet app or cryptocurrency, nor has the company said whether it will be available globally right away. "It's not obvious why someone here would choose to hold Libra with some exchange rate risk, when they could use pounds".

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