July 18, 2019 Bianca Altomare
A roman word meaning unit of weight measure, connected with ‘Lib’ a French term meaning free, portraying a sense of freedom represented by three balanced wavy lines. The significance of the Libra is meant to be stable, meaning no more fear of fluctuations between currencies.
Introducing Libra as a cryptocurrency invented by Facebook, launching as early as 2020. Facebook expects the Libra currency to accommodate those that don’t hold a bank account but have access to a device with connectivity to become a part of the banking world. With it being completely effortless to access, and saving yourself all those hidden bank fees as we enter the new age of finance.
For those that have never heard of this fancy term (Cryptocurrency) or have yet to investigate what all the noise is about, allow me to break it down for you. Cryptocurrency is pretty much another way to make payments in replacement of cash, credit and checks. The most famous cryptocurrency is of course Bitcoin, which spiked everyone’s attention with its explosive rise on the market. The currency gives users the freedom to use it as you please without needing to go through a third party like a bank, meaning your social insurance number and credit score are completely irrelevant and it allows you to be anonymous (some business need this kind of anonymity from the state).
The main feature cryptocurrency comes with is its security – made up of a blockchain technology. Blockchain stores information in a chain of blocks, positioned in a chronological order. If there is a change made to the info in a block, you don’t rewrite, the change is stored in a new block. This, along with a portion of the previous block’s code and a time stamp of when change was made is then updated across a network of servers as proof. That makes it nearly impossible for hackers to break into and alter an existing block without the network rejecting the change when it checks its records. So why choose a cryptocurrency? They are immune to counterfeiting, don’t require going through a central authority and are protected and trusted by strong and complex encryption algorithms.
The currency enables you to exchange your local cash into Libra and vice versa through certain wallet apps including Facebooks new Calibra wallet app, third party wallet apps as well as at your local grocer or convenience store. Users will have the ability to use Libra to spend online, pay directly for products or services for companies that have partnered with the Libra Association. Selected shops and mobile apps will also offer rewards or free coins just for signing up with Libra.
Calibra is Facebooks brand new digital wallet that will have links in messenger and WhatsApp as well as its own standalone app. This app will allow users to make money transfers to each other and pay for goods and services using the brand new currency. Calibra is designed to securely store money for free as well as send money around the world at no extra cost. But with Facebook leaving users on edge from past privacy scandals, they’ve made a decision to keep the wallet app separate from the platform, so people are not deterred from using it. Calibra will not share any information or financial data with Facebook or third parties without consent.
Maintenance of the Libra platform will be taken care of by the Libra Association (an independent non-profit organization in Geneva, Switzerland) along with a number of other financial, non-profit and commerce firms that have contributed a minimum of $10MM each to be a part of the association, supplying the company more than $1B. The organization hopes to have 100 partners before launch in early 2020. For those that have partnered to become part of the Libra Association Committee, council members are each granted a vote to assist with making decisions as a team to decide what happens with the currency to develop and expand the network. All members of the Libra association are responsible for ensuring that transactions are real and to build the Libra reserve. The Libra reserve is made up of the world’s most stable currencies, meaning that regardless of one of those currencies going up or down in price, the Libra will remain stable. This makes Facebook’s leap into cryptocurrency a very likely success story and allows Facebook to educate its user base of 2.38 billion monthly active users. Libra, Calibra and the Libra Association are the basis for a currency future, giving people more freedom and putting more pressure on traditional banks long term.