With Libra, Facebook wants to change currency

The CEO of social network Mark Zuckerberg has about 20 heavyweights in business or payments with his cryptocurrency project.

Mark Zuckerberg is moving fast: Facebook has to announce details of its “currency” called Libra on Tuesday, June 18. That was less than a year and a half after he disclosed in January 2018 that he wanted to work on “cryptocurrency,” these decentralized and encrypted exchange systems: “They use the power of centralized systems to put it back into people’s hands. But they run the risk of being more difficult to control,”he wrote, foreshadowing the heated debate that accompanies these projects.

Strikingly today, the team from Menlo Park (California) managed to bring more than 20 commercial or payment giants into its project: Uber, Spotify, Visa-Mastercard, Paypal or Free (whose founder Xavier Niel is a Le Monde shareholder)…​ ​It’s a response to critics who are concerned about seeing Facebook and its more than 2 billion users claiming power reserved for the state. Also make sure that Libra spreads widely, which will be launched in mid-2020.

What will Libya be used for?
The digital currency will be backed by a basket of currencies and values considered stable, such as the dollar and the euro. Thanks to apps on their phones, consumers will be able to buy them and use them to pay on the internet, on e-commerce platforms, and in the world of Facebook, especially WhatsApp or Messenger messaging.

It will also make it possible to buy items in brick-and-mortar stores. The cryptocurrency will also be used for money transfers: an Indian living in the US can thus send Libya to his family in Mumbai. The goal of Facebook and its partners is to provide a faster and cheaper service than banks or the Western Union.

The exchange does not go through the usual channels of the financial system, but through “blockchain”, the technology of information transmission, secure and encrypted, for the cryptocurrency “Bitcoin”. But the Libra network will be private, and its “nodes” will be servers run by partners.

Libras can be purchased in local currencies in all countries of the world, including cash for the unbanked. This currency is especially aimed at developing countries whose financial systems and currencies are not always stable: India, Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina…

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