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Libra ... Another virtual currency!?

The better known virtual currency is the bitcoin and we already know how unstable and unreliable it is. Apparently, Facebook does not trust it. Therefore, it has created its own "Libra", not to be confused with the "Libra Esterlina" (the British Sterling Pound). In order to put it into circulation, the huge cybernetic corporation created an organization, the Libra Association, to manage the technical aspects of the project and work with regulators to ensure that everything is on the rigth path, but Facebook itself is its paramount member among 100 members that they hope will participate investing $10 millions each to get the project going. As a virtual currency, the Libra will not be issued as paper currency or coin.

Facebook wants to create a worldwide digital currency  

Libra could be massively disruptive—including to the social network itself  

San Francisco, June 18.– A global digital currency would make sending money across the world as easy as texting. It would do away with fees, delays and other barriers to the flow of cash. It would give those in less developed countries access to the financial system and a way to protect hard-earned wages against runaway inflation. It could trigger a wave of innovation in finance, much like the internet did in online services.

That, in a nutshell, is what on June 18th Facebook promised to launch within a year. Libra, as the social network’s new currency is to be known in honour of an ancient Roman unit of mass (and the word for “pound” in many romance languages), professes to be all about “empower[ing] billions of people”.

The potential is indeed enormous. If each of Facebook’s 2.4bn users converted a slice of their savings into libras, it could immediately become one of the world’s most circulated currencies. It could also, if widely adopted, vest unprecedented power in the hands of its issuer. In a tacit acknowledgment that its mishandling of user data, condoning the spread of misinformation and other sins have devalued its stock with policymakers, users and potential partners—though not investors—Facebook wants to outsource the running of Libra to a consortium of trustworthies recruited from the world of finance, technology and NGOs. The consequences for the global financial system could be far-reaching. So could the impact on Facebook’s business.

If the project lives up to the mock-ups, buying, selling, holding, sending and receiving libras will be a doddle. It can be done in Facebook’s Messenger app or WhatsApp, another messaging-service-cum-social-network it owns—and, later next year, in a standalone app. All at a tap of a smartphone ...

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