With Libra, Facebook is getting into the cryptocurrency business.
Facebook changed the way we communicate. Now the social media giant wants to change how its roughly 2.4 billion users think about using a cryptocurrency to make everyday purchases.
Earlier this week, the social network and its partners unveiled a global digital coin called Libra, confirming details of a project that had been leaking out in dribs and drabs for months. Libra, which will be managed by a governing body and backed by stable financial assets, is expected to debut in the first half of 2020.
Facebook and the Libra Association, the body that will govern the coin, hope to create a stable digital money that will give users confidence in its value and won't be subject to the wild gyrations of more recognized cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. The group is also trying to alleviate concerns that Libra could be used for money laundering or black market transactions, saying it would work with authorities around the world to ensure Libra conforms to regulations in multiple countries and jurisdictions.
The efforts to woo politicians and regulators, however, seemed to fall flat. Almost immediately after the announcement, US and European politicians expressed concern about Libra, saying Facebook's history of privacy problems raised questions about whether it was a fit steward of people's financial data.