Good to earlier reports of a release date this month, social media giant Facebook has today (18/06/19) released the white paper of its highly anticipated cryptocurrency and blockchain project – Libra.
According to the white paper, Facebook’s global stablecoin dubbed “Libra” will operate on its native blockchain and will be backed by a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value and mitigate volatility fluctuations.”
The new cryptocurrency will be governed by the “Libra Association” (a non-profit Swiss consortium). Details from the white paper shows MasterCard, PayPal, Visa, Stripe, eBay, Coinbase, Andreessen Horowitz and Uber as some of its big name founding members from a total of 28; it also details Facebook’s plan to expand the association to around 100 members by the time of the Libra’s official launch in Q1 of 2020.
Reports reveal that each of the founding members was required to make a minimum investment of $10 million; and will each run a validator node on the network.
A snippet of the white paper explains:
While final decision-making authority rest with the association; Facebook is expected to maintain a leadership role through 2019. Facebook created Calibra, a regulated subsidiary, to ensure separation between social and financial data and to build and operate services on behalf on top of the Libra network.
Facebook goes on to reveal that the Libra investment token is distinct from its global user cryptocurrency Libra; just as the company specifies the distribution of network custodians in order to ensure decentralization.
See live website for the Facebook Libra token – www.Calibra.com
Also highlighted in the white paper is the open source nature of the Libra blockchain software, which aims to create an interoperable ecosystem of financial services and to broaden inclusion.
Head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, Dante Disparte says:
In so many ways, it’s a great leap forward for cryptocurrencies and, in many respects, a mainstreaming of this asset class…the central goal here really is financial inclusion, to build a financial ecosystem that can plug in and empower billions of people.
Other details highlight:
- There will be a distinct wallet for the Libra coin to allow users transfer and store their tokens
- There will be a dedicated app for wallet functionality embedded in Facebook’s messenger, WhatsApp or through a standalone app on iOS and Android
- The Libra native blockchain which will go fully live next year
- The participating members list also features NGOs with a track record of poverty alleviation and focus on reaching out to the unbanked; especially the female population in developing countries such as Women’s World Banking, Mercy Corps, Kiva
- Asides basic funds transfer, the Calibra subsidiary will expand services to allow customers make bill payment and purchase regular goods and services
- Calibra will adhere to global AML and KYC procedures
- Calibra will not conduct business in any jurisdictions which have banned cryptocurrencies outright
- There will be ID verification; however in a decentralization effort, social media profiles and real-world identity will not be linked; users are free to create multiple accounts by generating multiple key-pairs
This new cryptocurency venture will most likely serve to facilitate payments across Facebook’s platforms including WhatsApp and Instagram; the new coin will open access each month to over 2.7 billion users globally.
Mixed Reactions to Facebook Coin
Across the cryptocurrency community, the hype by this news has signified a welcome movement on the potential of cryptocurrencies, however issues from decentralization, stablecoin efficiency and privacy have been raised.
Will Facebook coin bring cryptocurrency adoption? Or would it serve as another form of remittance? Share your thoughts on this.