From social profiles to messaging to … crypto? Facebook just released a white paper for their Libra token, and both the crypto community and mainstream media are going nuts.
If you’re wondering what Libra is, and whether it will give the all-powerful Facebook platform access to your financial data, then we recommend that you keep reading. You’ll be happy to know that, contrary to all the hype, Libra is only in the concept phase and, if US policymakers have any say in the matter, it might just stay there.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg declared there is still a lot of work to be done before Libra will be released. The key issues, rather than being technical, were with the legal status of the global financial network that Libra will power.
“Regulators have concerns. We’re already meeting with them. We know we have a lot of work to do, but this was an announcement of what we would like to do with a roadmap for people to jump in and help us do it.”
To understand why the legal realm is already scrambling for hearings about Libra, it’s important to know just how big the network will be.
International payments can be expensive, with the developed world getting the better end of the stick. Via third-party wallet apps, including Facebook’s own Calibra Wallet, Libra would make it possible for people to make transfers for next to nothing, as well as use the tokens to purchase items or cash-out online or at local exchange points (i.e. grocery stores).
“Facebook got one thing right for sure: Today’s money doesn’t work for everyone. Those of us living comfortably in developed nations likely don’t see the hardships that befall migrant workers or the unbanked abroad.” – TechCrunch
Despite the legal concerns, Facebook’s Libra whitepaper claims that a public launch date is set for sometime in early 2020. In business terms, that’s cutting it pretty close. And if you’re part of the growing majority concerned with the social media platform’s creepy approach to ads and data sharing, then you may not have much time to prepare for the transition.
While Facebook made the announcement, they aren’t the only ones with a stake in the network. The social media giant only gets one vote as one of the founding members of the Libra Association which also includes Visa and Uber.
Nevertheless, Facebook will still play a huge role in the development of the project, which worries data-wary consumers. Facebook aims to ease these concerns by launching a subsidiary to handle crypto dealings and protect user privacy by keeping payment data separate from data available on Facebook.
Keeping the info stores separate both legally and technically means no ad targeting or sharing with third parties. However, Facebook still has access to it all and will collect interest on your payments along with other Libra Association founders.
While 2020 is around the corner from a business point of view, that’s decades in crypto years. Plenty can happen in the meantime, and why wait for Libra to hit the market when you can trade on CoinMetro and get a 20 XCM reward today? Check it out, it’s free.
If you’re still pondering the future, wondering if Libra will replace the dollar, or if Zuckerberg will wield his social influence and intimate knowledge of your likes and private conversations to bring crypto the mainstream market, then let us know on social media!