Silicon Valley giant Facebook has finally unveiled its new project! The company started by Mark Zuckerberg is coming together with 27 organizations around the world to start the non-profit Libra Association and create a new currency called Libra.
“Libra’s mission is to create a simple global financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people around the world,” wrote Zuckerberg in a post on Facebook. “It’s powered by blockchain technology and the plan is to launch it in 2020.”
Libra, according to the Libra Association website, wants to “reinvent money, transform the global economy, so people everywhere can live better lives.”
“Being able to use mobile money can have an important positive impact on people’s lives because you don’t have to always carry cash, which can be insecure, or pay extra fees for transfers,” explained Zuckerberg. “This is especially important for people who don’t have access to traditional banks or financial services. Right now, there are around a billion people who don’t have a bank account but do have a mobile phone.”
Libra’s main founding members are financial giant like Mastercard, Paypal, Visa, and Stripe, and Silicon Valley companies like Uber, Lyft, eBay, as well as venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
According to Techcrunch, each founding member paid a minimum of $10 million to join. In joining, they gain one vote — or 1% of the total vote (whichever is larger) — in the Libra Association council, and be entitled to a share (proportionate to their investment) of the dividends from interest earned on the Libra reserve users pay fiat currency into to receive Libra.
Facebook says it hopes to reach 100 founding members before the official Libra launch and it’s open to anyone that meets the requirements including direct competitors like Google or Twitter, writes Techcrunch, explaining that the Libra Association, based in Geneva, Switzerland, will meet biannually. “The country was chosen for its neutral status and strong support for financial innovation including blockchain technology,” according to Techcrunch.
The idea behind Libra rests on a few elements and characteristics:
- Mobile: Libra will be accessible to anyone with an entry-level smartphone and data connectivity.
- Stable: Libra is backed by a reserve made to keep its value stable.
- Fast: Libra transactions are quick and easy, no matter where you are sending, or spending, your money.
- For the world: Libra is a global cryptocurrency that will be available around the world.
- Scalable: Libra will foster an ecosystem of products and services made to help people use Libra in their everyday lives.
- Secure: Libra is a cryptocurrency, built on a blockchain designed with security in mind.
According to The New York Times Times, Facebook has sky-high hopes that Libra could become the foundation for a new financial system not controlled by today’s power brokers on Wall Street or central banks.
“It feels like it is time for a better system,” David Marcus, head of Facebook’s blockchain technology research, said in an interview. “This is something that could be a profound change for the entire world.”
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