Facebook today announced Libra, a new global currency powered by blockchain technology. Libra will come under Calibra, a newly formed Facebook subsidiary whose goal is to provide financial services that will let people access and participate in the Libra network. The first product Calibra will introduce is a digital wallet for Libra which will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app — and is expected to launch in 2020.
For many people around the world, even basic financial services are still out of reach and almost half of the adults in the world don’t have an active bank account and those numbers are worse in developing countries and even worse for women. The cost of that exclusion is high, approximately 70 per cent of small businesses in developing countries lack access to credit and $25 billion is lost by migrants every year through remittance fees. This is the challenge Facebook wants to address with Calibra, a new digital wallet that you’ll be able to use to save, send and spend Libra.
From the beginning, Calibra will let you send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone, as easily and instantly as you might send a text message and at low to no cost. Facebook in the future, will offer additional services for people and businesses, like paying bills with the push of a button, buying a cup of coffee with the scan of a code or riding your local public transit without needing to carry cash or a metro pass.
When it launches in 2010, Calibra will have strong security implemented to keep your money and your information safe. Facebook will utilise same verification and anti-fraud processes that banks and credit cards use, and will have automated systems that will proactively monitor activity to detect and prevent fraudulent behaviour.
There will also be a live support to help if you lose your phone or your password — and if someone fraudulently gains access to your account and you lose some Libra as a result, Facebook will offer you a refund.
Calibra will not share account information or financial data with Facebook or any third party without customer consent. This means Calibra customers’ account information and financial data will not be used to improve ad targeting on the Facebook family of products. The limited cases where this data may be shared reflect our need to keep people safe, comply with the law and provide basic functionality to the people who use Calibra.
Calibra will use Facebook data to comply with the law, secure customers’ accounts, mitigate risk and prevent criminal activity.
If you’d like to be among the first to know when Calibra is available, you can sign up here.