Rumours of Facebook’s impending cryptocurrency have been circulating for months now, with most stating that it is due to be launched some time next year. But according to a source, the new crypto could be with us as soon as June 18th.
Project Libra, as it has been known has apparently been briefed to a number of investors and a whitepaper is scheduled for release. The source, who is believed to work for Facebook also revealed that those working on the (not so) secretive project have been given the option to be paid in cryptocurrency, rather that fiat.
According to leaked information, the cryptocurrency will be transferable with zero fees between all Facebook apps including Messenger and WhatsApp. Facebook are also apparently working with a number of retailers to accept Libra as a form of payment for their services.
The Facebook cryptocurrency will be “designed to function as a borderless currency without transaction fees and will be aggressively marketed in developing nations where government-backed currencies are more volatile.”
There are also whispers that Libra will be tied to physical devices so it can be used at ATMs, meaning regular fiat currencies can be exchanged for it. It is expected that it will be tied to a variety of different fiat currencies to ensure that its value remains stable. Facebook has also opened a company in Switzerland called Libra Networks that will function within the realm of “financial services”, according to Reuters.
The project will be overseen by the VP of Facebook Messenger and the previous president of PayPal, David Marcus. It has also been reported that Christian Catalini from MIT is the Chief Economist on the project. There are currently around 30 blockchain related vacancies listed on the Facebook careers page, a big increase over the last few months.
There are however some concerns that Facebook will use Libra coin to snoop on the purchases that users are making. By keeping track of what they are buying, where they are buying it, and when, many believe that the social media platform will use the information to target adverts. Understanding what is being bought and by who, could significantly help Facebook in ad measurement, ranking, and targeting, therefore significantly increasing its core business and revenue streams.
It has also been reported that Facebook is creating an independent foundation that will govern the new coin. Apparently the social media giant has reached out to a number of financial institutions and fintech firms regarding the plan, in the hope that they will contribute capital and help manage the network. Reports state that Facebook will charge anywhere in the region of $10 million to anyone who wants to operate a node on the new crypto network.
New entrants to crypto start with Bitcoin.
The largest, most well known, first decentralized cryptocurrency is the onramp for nearly every other cryptoasset.
Globalcoin (@facebook coin) might change that by bringing more new entrants to Bitcoin than any other coin in history.
— Luke Martin (@VentureCoinist) June 6, 2019
When the Facebook cryptocurrency finally does go live, it will enjoy the largest user base out of any cryptocurrency in the world. Over 2.3 billion people use Facebook on a regular basis and that number is steadily growing. Such widespread adoption would be a significant step for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology as a whole, bringing it kicking and screaming into the mainstream.
Whilst there is a great deal of excitement around Libra, some sources have said that COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Wehner have expressed their concerns over the concept and its implementation.