A few weeks after revealing that it was in the process of finalising plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, social media site Facebook has now released the details of its digital currency.
The currency will be called Libra, and is set to be launched early next year. Furthermore, Facebook has said that people would be able to use the currency through the company’s mobile apps, as well as on the Facebook-owned messaging platform, WhatsApp. It added that high-profile businesses such as Visa and Uber would be likely to accept Libra.
Since the news broke of Facebook’s plans to launch a digital currency, there has been plenty of concern regarding how the company will protect people’s data and money, as well as questions surrounding the currency’s volatility.
In response to these concerns, Facebook has stated that Libra will be independently managed and will be backed by real assets. It added that paying with Libra would be as easy as sending a text.
Facebook’s move into the payments sector is the latest in a line of tech companies entering the market, after the likes of Google, Apple and Samsung all entered with various payment platforms. However, Facebook is the first to base its service on an actual cryptocurrency.
For those wanting to use Libra, Facebook has said that it can be bought through its platforms in a digital wallet the company will be adding, called Calibra. Users will then be able to send Libra to others as instantly and easily as a text message is sent.
In the future, the company hopes to be able to add services for both businesses and people, such as the ability to pay bills with the click of a button, buy coffee by scanning a digital code or take public transport without having to carry cash.
The company is expected to take a small commission fee on payments that are made through this platform, although it has said that these fees would be low to no cost.
Facebook has assured those who may be interested in investing in Libra that this is not a side project that will be abandoned after a few months. It has said that this is the future of the company and is an initiative that has seen an alliance formed with other big players in the payment industry, including Mastercard, PayPal, Vodafone, eBay and Spotify.
Facebook hopes to launch Libra at the start of 2020, and its biggest test may be whether people will trust the company with their money. In anticipation of this, the company has engaged in talks with various governments, banks and regulators such as the Bank of England.