In order to use Libra, you are not forced to have an account on Facebook. That is the hands-off approach that the social media giant and Libra Association work toward as it announces its new blockchain, as well as the token of the same name which is going to run on top of it.
Facebook announced its new token and blockchain
While the announcement from Tuesday is early days, the project’s scope is still far-reaching. It actually includes a new Facebook subsidiary, called Calibra, and also an independent consortium, called Libra Association, which is backed by some of the biggest names of the tech industry.
The head of communications and policy for the Libra Association, named Dante Disparte, said that implied in the project is that every time that the MasterCard and Visa logo are accepted, Libra is going to follow suit. He added that in various ways, it is a great leap forward for cryptos and, in many respects, a mainstreaming of this asset class.
The group of 28 founding members of the Libra Association actually includes MasterCard, Visa, PayPal, Lyft, Uber, Coinbase, as well as others. Those customers who are interested in transferring or holding the newly announced Libra token of Facebook will get many different options to do that, according to the announcement of the company, with an initial focus on international remittances.
Calibra is going to develop financial services, as well as products around the network of Libra, which is eventually going to be entirely governed by the independent Libra Association. Calibra has the intention, to begin with, a digital wallet for the Libra coin, which is going to let users transfer funds to one another, and store their tokens locally.
Notably, the customers are going to have the capacity to access the wallet functionality through a new standalone app on Android and iOS, or through the WhatsApp and Messenger services of Facebook. The Libra blockchain is actually expected to launch fully sometimes during the following year. Financial inclusion is the central goal here, according to Disparte.
Payments giants included in the Libra Association
Access to the apps could be quite significant. Also, for some major financial institutions and tech companies which back the project, that may one day mean access to more customers. For those that struggle to access capital, it may one day mean a new lifeline from family abroad.
For different people worldwide, even essential financial services are still out of reach. Almost one-half of the adults in this world do not have an active bank account, and those numbers are even worse in the developing countries, especially for women.
Among payments giants, a couple of NGOs are included in the Libra Association, and they are Kiva, Creative Destruction, Mercy Corps, and Women’s World Banking.
While Calibra is actually targeting just necessary fund transfers to start with, the subsidiary has some plans to expand its services to permit the customers to pay bills and buy services or goods like public transit access or coffee.
One video, which demonstrated the planned user interface indicates that the customers are going to have the capacity to send funds to their friends. While they are going to send Libra coins, the app seems to show that the users are going to see their balance in the local fiat currency.
Moreover, when sending the funds around borders, the app seems to show the fiat equivalent which recipients are going to see, with amounts which denominated their local currencies.
Being part of its services, Calibra has the intention to follow different AML or anti-money laundering and KYC or know-your-customer regulations in the jurisdictions in which it actually conducts business.
Other wallet providers can build products on the Libra protocol
Calibra also registered as a money service business with the Department of Treasury of the United States, and now works to acquire money transmitter licenses in the United States, stating that it treats cryptos as the equivalent of money.
The subsidiary even has the intention to follow guidelines which are issued by the Financial Action Task Force, as well as other national regulators, and is not going to conduct business in jurisdictions that banned cryptos outright.
Calibra is, in fact, committed to keeping illicit activities off the platform, as well as working with law enforcement globally. Being part of its efforts to maintain compliance, Calibra is going to require ID verification. But, financial data, as well as social media profiles, are not going to be linked.
Other wallet providers are going to have the capacity to build products on the Libra protocol when the network actually launches in the next year, according to the officials of Facebook.
The Calibra wallet is going to use similar verification, as well as anti-fraud procedures which credit card providers and banks use right now, and systems to monitor the accounts for unusual behavior to prevent fraudulent activity.
Authorities that are charged with consumer protection also have a significant role to play in making sure that all the consumers, including those who are most vulnerable, may safely take advantage of the financial innovation, according to sources.