Facebook Targets Bitcoin with New Cryptocurrency

'Sell Bitcoin... buy Libra' – should you invest in Facebook's new digital currency?

The company plans to elevate the downtrodden out of poverty with the help of Calibra, a newly-formed financial services subsidiary that will serve as the gatekeeper to the Libra cryptocurrency network/market.

"Libra could spark additional cryptocurrency volume due to increased accessibility from both institutional players and everyday retail users". And as with any cryptocurrency, there's also the risk of hacks or other types of attacks. This influence will manifest after the 12 to 18 months that Facebook will take to integrate the asset into its services. It will be a digital currency that's supported by established government-backed currencies and securities.

Facebook has revealed details of Libra, its cryptocurrency answer to Bitcoin, which the tech giant says is aimed at the estimated 1.7 billion people around the world who are "unbanked".

"If you're concerned with Facebook knowing too much or having too much access to your private data or social graph, the GlobalCoin will give Facebook even more direct access to your financial information", he told The Sun. Instead, it will be overseen by a nonprofit known as the Libra Association. Libra could also open up online commerce to huge numbers of people around the world who now don't have bank accounts or credit cards.

Markus Feber, a senior German politician in the European Parliament, said Facebook's new coin should lead to wider regulation. Facebook will launch a "wallet" app for buying and selling Libra, called Calibra, and will let people use it for payments over WhatsApp, the global messaging service, and Facebook Messenger. The goal is for Libra to be used outside of the social network as well: Consumers may eventually be able to use it to pay for a cab or a cup of morning coffee. "We've seen this directly in numerous developing markets where we operate", explained the post.

"Given its history of managing our data, it shouldn't take much to convince people that Facebook managing our money is probably a awful idea", Neil Campling, head of TMT Research at Mirabaud Securities in London, said. "It's not just access to the information of your transactions, it's direct access to your wealth and capital".

They would not specify which regulators or whether Facebook had applied for financial licences anywhere.

Many privacy questions remain unanswered, though. Libra is based on the same blockchain technology as other cryptocurrencies, which is supposed to make transactions simple and secure. There's an in-depth explanation of the Libra blockchain.

Security measures aside, the move comes at a delicate time for Facebook, which is in the cross-hairs of regulators in the USA and Europe over its allegedly anti-competitive behavior, its use of data and the policing of its platform.

Some of the most notable firms are Uber (UBER), Lyft (LYFT), PayPal (PYPL) and Ebay (EBAY).

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