Facebook unveils global cryptocurrency 'Libra': All you need to know
The cryptocurrency will be available through Facebook's own digital wallet called Calibra and other services, according to the company's announcement.
In a move aimed at creating a low-cost global payment system available through smart devices, social network giant Facebook has announced Tuesday it is launching its own cryptocurrency called "Libra", which is described as "a new global currency", set to roll out next year. The new cryptocurrency is being backed by about 25 partners, including nonprofits and firms in financial services and online commerce. The cryptocurrency will be available through Facebook's own digital wallet called Calibra and other services, according to the company's announcement.
Facebook also announced its own digital wallet subsidiary called "Calibra" for its global cryptocurrency "Libra" which would be powered by Blockchain technology. The new digital wallet for Libra will be available in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app in 2020, the company said in a statement.
Currently, Facebook generates 99 per cent of its revenue from advertisements and its own digital currency would help it reach billions of users across products, creating another stable revenue stream. Facebook said, "Today we`re sharing plans for Calibra, a newly-formed Facebook subsidiary whose goal is to provide financial services that will let people access and participate in the Libra network."
The social media giant further said, "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."
Facing intense scrutiny over users` privacy violations, Facebook said Calibra will have strong protections in place to keep your money and your information safe, adding "We`ll be using all the same verification and anti-fraud processes that banks and credit cards use, and we`ll have automated systems that will proactively monitor activity to detect and prevent fraudulent behaviourm".
Elaborating further, the company said it would also offer dedicated live support to help if a user loses the phone or password and if someone fraudulently gains access to the account and the user loses some Libra as a result, Facebook would offer a "refund".
"The limited cases where this data may be shared reflect our need to keep people safe, comply with the law and provide basic functionality to the people who use Calibra. Calibra will use Facebook data to comply with the law, secure customers` accounts, mitigate risk and prevent criminal activity," Facebook explained.
Facebook is currently under federal investigation over its privacy practices, and along with other technology giants also faces a new antitrust probe in Congress.
Earlier this year, Facebook CEO Zuckerberg announced a new privacy-focused vision for the company after months of backlash for its treatment of personal customer information. Zuckerberg's vision, which has mostly not been detailed publicly, will rely heavily on privacy-shielded messaging apps in an attempt to make the services more about private, one-to-one connections.