Libra is an open-source blockchain is set to be launched in 2020 by the social media giant, Facebook. However, Mark Zuckerberg is not alone in this and is being backed by an independent Libra Association consisting of 28 members. So, what exactly is Libra?
“Imagine making a transaction to an international e-commerce agency with just a flip of the hand at the comfort of your home. This is one of the fastest means of making life easier.”
What is Libra?
For those who are cryptocurrencies enthusiasts, you must have seen your timeline flooded with different views and perspectives of people on this new project on every social media platform. Libra blockchain is a cryptocurrency that will serve monetary purposes which will be used globally.
To build a financial ecological community, Libra will help better the lives of people and transferring of money would be “as easy and cheap as sending a text message”. This they claim will benefit people who don’t have easy access to banks, or don’t have a bank account, especially in developing countries. Further, Libra would also make the overseas transaction for services, such as development, designing and article writing services easier as well.
What does Libra symbolize?
The name itself symbolizes money, justice, and freedom. Let me break it down. The name was inspired by the Roman measuring weight. Also, Libra is an astrological symbol of justice. In French, the word “free” is spelled “libre” which means ‘freedom’.
Libra and Banking Services.
This cryptocurrency is not the same as the banking system. You don’t need a bank account to avail of it. However, different safety measures related to banking services will be put in place to avoid fraud or money laundering.
Furthermore, If successful, this will make the world to beat the slow expensive banking system to the use of Libra for transaction or payment for products and services. Also, this is ample opportunity for social media platforms (WhatsApp, Facebook) to grow more even though the users of these platforms combined already passed the most populated country in the world. With billions using a phone and not all having a bank account, this is perceived as a huge development strategy.
Let’s talk Calibra
Calibra, a subdivision of this project has been inaugurated to protect Facebook users’ privacy. Calibra’s digital wallet is now being imputed into Facebook messenger and Whatsapp. This will enable users to do transactions as easy as sending a photo.
However, if you are wondering if you need a Facebook account before you can use Libra?
The answer is No!. Anyone anywhere can have access to the currency, parties can build their IOS or Android apps using this open-source. This is where the beauty lies.
Is Libra a Cryptocurrency?
The answer is: it depends on your definition of cryptocurrency. We can’t say Libra is fully crypto if you define it on how it is run.
A Libra is decentralized in some way. With the nodes, it can function on the founding members’ servers- Facebook, Uber, Paypal, and others. If however, you see Libra in the perspective of making transactions or payments for services of an international e-commerce agency and online stores, then it can be regarded as a cryptocurrency.
Furthermore, it doesn’t exist in the form of notes or coins. Like Bitcoin, Libra is mainly digital and it will be run on its blockchain which will be managed by the Libra association at the initial stage.
How is Libra better than Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies?
So, what makes the much-awaited cryptocurrency ‘Libra’ different from other cryptocurrencies out there is the question most of us want to know.
Both Libra and Bitcoin are digital currencies but that is where the similarity ends. Facebook will be adding Libra to its other platforms as well- Instagram and Whatsapp. This means that all the active users on these platforms will have access to the product and services on their fingertips. However, it still depends on how many people use it. However, Libra community will be huge as compared to any other crypto-community.
Libra has a huge network of companies like a credit card, payment services and more backing up the project. Fb has plans of installing Libra ATMs and also step towards creating mobile wallets. No other cryptocurrency has been backed up by huge companies before. However, unlike Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Libra is not decentralized, though it has plans of getting decentralized in the future.
How safe is Libra?
This is a major public concern posing challenges to the association. It has drawn the attention of various regulatory bodies and lawmakers after the announcement. Significantly with the recent fallout of Facebook concerning keeping users privacy.
However, with the high profile companies comprising the organization, Libra will most likely cross over on this one. Can Libra be trusted? The association has guaranteed that people’s financial data will not be shared with Facebook except in rare cases where the need arises. This, however, included instances of safety, if the law dictates or in the normal transaction functionalities.
You, therefore, need not worry about Facebook sending you targeted ads designed by e-commerce agencies. Each Libra will also be supported by a bunch of highly esteemed central banks to ensure safety. More interestingly, Facebook has promised repayment in cases any defraud arises.
Facebook knew he could not handle this project alone. Therefore, the Libra association was founded. Right now they are 28 members and they aim to increase to 100 before the launching in 2020.
The association consists of renowned organizations and companies from different fields. The likes of Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Uber, Vodafone Group Plc, Lyft, and a host of others. For now, Facebook is the only social media that is among them and no banks have been part of it yet. To be part of the association, the member needs to pay a sum of $10 million that will yield huge dividends if the project turns out successful.
Facebook got one thing right. Imagine making a transaction to an international e-commerce agency with just a flip of the hand at the comfort of your home. This is one of the fastest means of making life easier.
Unfortunately, we also tend to ignore the hardship faced by people in developing countries who don’t seem to have access to banking services. They are baits to local money lenders and traditional financial services. Libra aims to address this issue and make this cryptocurrency accessible to all.