Facebook to launch cryptocurrency and digital wallet in 2020

Facebook to launch cryptocurrency and digital wallet in 2020

Facebook is to launch a cryptocurrency next year – backed by the likes of Mastercard, Visa and PayPal – which will allow people to move money from their smartphone.

The currency is known as Libra, which the social network says it has “no special role” in governing and will manage the reserve equally with a group of big companies.

So far, it has enlisted 28 firms, including Spotify and Uber, who each had to invest a minimum of 10 million US dollars (£8 million) to be a founding member of the Libra Association, an independent not-for-profit membership organisation – it wants to attract 100 businesses in time for launch, which it is aiming for the first half of 2020.

Libra is supported by a reserve of the world’s best assets and the world’s most trusted central banks, who gave the cryptocurrency “general cautious support”, according to David Marcus, who started exploring blockchain at Facebook a year ago.

“Libra holds the potential to provide billions of people around the world with access to a more inclusive, more open financial ecosystem,” he explained.

The social network is hoping that its collaborative approach can ease volatility concerns of existing blockchains and cryptocurrencies.

Libra is expected to launch early 2020 (Facebook/PA)
Libra is expected to launch early 2020 (Facebook/PA)

Facebook will operate its own digital wallet for people to spend Libra, known as the Calibra Wallet, which will be available in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and as a standalone app.

Users will be able to send money to each other initially, at low to no cost, the social network said.

Eventually, it intends to open the Calibra Wallet up to additional services, so that people can pay bills, buy goods by scanning a code or accessing public transport.

Account information from Calibra will not be shared with Facebook to improve things like ad targeting, except for “limited cases” where this data may be shared “to keep people safe, comply with the law, and provide basic functionality to the people who use Calibra”, the social network added.

Libra is open source, meaning anyone will be able to launch their own digital wallet and include the currency.

“As a Founding Member of the Libra Network, Vodafone will extend its commitment to digital and financial inclusion by supporting the creation of a new global currency and encouraging a

wide range of innovative financial services to be developed through its open-source platform,” said Stefano Parisse, group director of product and services at Vodafone Group.

“This has the potential to be truly transformative and will benefit those who have never used, or are struggling to access, financial services around the world.”

- Press Association

More on this topic

Facebook fined $5bn over privacy violationsFacebook fined $5bn over privacy violations

A new way of nurturing nefarious activitiesA new way of nurturing nefarious activities

Facebook cracks down on sensationalist and misleading health contentFacebook cracks down on sensationalist and misleading health content

Facebook site evacuated after mail tests positive for sarinFacebook site evacuated after mail tests positive for sarin

More in this Section

Video games can ‘help improve emotional intelligence in teenagers’Video games can ‘help improve emotional intelligence in teenagers’

Social media firms under fire over violent content after murder suspect’s postsSocial media firms under fire over violent content after murder suspect’s posts

Facebook launches UK anti-scam ad toolFacebook launches UK anti-scam ad tool

Tech review: Nokia 1 Plus quality screen proves bigger really is betterTech review: Nokia 1 Plus quality screen proves bigger really is better


Lifestyle

Prevention is so much better than cure, says Fiann Ó Nualláin, who offers gardeners timely advice on guarding face and body against those potentially damaging ultra-violet rays this season and beyond.Gardening: Be skincare-savvy for summer

It's never been more important to choose flowers and trees according to their environmental needs, says Peter DowdallIn these times of climate change, choose plants to weather all conditions

Avoid techno-tantrums by swapping their tablet for one of these gripping night-time tales.The best bedtime audiobooks for children and teens

Close to Lisbon but far less crowded, this pleasant town is the ideal base for rest and relaxation, says Liz Ryan.Cascais: The dreamy Portuguese seaside town you really need to know

More From The Irish Examiner