The antisocial network's blockchain-tracked currency, Libra, will reside in a digital wallet named for the company's newly formed financial services subsidiary Calibra. The goal is for Libra to be used outside of the social network as well: Consumers may eventually be able to use it to pay for a cab or a cup of morning coffee.
Facebook's announcement was met with immediate backlash from US lawmakers and regulators across the globe, who are concerned that Facebook is already too massive and careless with users' privacy.
The Libra Association, which effectively acts as a governing body for Facebook's cryptocurrency, also counts financial institutions and payment providers like Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and Stripe as well as companies like Uber, Lyft and Ebay among its members.
Facebook's Libra will be pegged to traditional fiat currencies in order to protect the burgeoning platform from volatility that has plagued bitcoin and other digital coins.
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No direct mention was made of the 2018 Cambridge Analytica scandal involving the personally identifiable information of up to 87 million people, nor was the looming possibility of a U.S. antitrust investigation against Facebook and its Silicon Valley brethren referenced. And as with any cryptocurrency, there's also the risk of hacks or other types of attacks.
Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has promised a new direction for Facebook built around smaller groups, private messaging and payments.
Social media platform Facebook has unveiled further details of its much-anticipated digital currency offering, which it hopes will transform financial services.
To be sure, recent history reminds us that many big Facebook announcements never really take off.
Calibra would conduct compliance checks on customers who want to use Libra, using verification and anti-fraud processes that were common among banks, Facebook said.
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Cryptocurrencies were initially designed as an alternative to conventional money, outside of the control of central banks and governments.
And the ubiquity of smartphones means digital wallets for Libra could make banking and credit card services and e-commerce available in places where they don't now exist.
This is not the first time Facebook has attempted to create a type of digital currency. At which point you'll enjoy their world-leading privacy protections", said Green, adding, "I don't think it's possible to express what a catastrophic regression this thing is going to be.
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