#TSRTech: You can pay for things in a variety of ways these days. While some of us will always prefer cold hard cash, others have been moved on to the age of digital currency.
Cryptocurrency is nothing new but #Facebook officials announced a move today to make it mainstream to their 2.4 billion users. This morning Facebook unveiled its highly-anticipated digital currency project #Libra, and the creation of the Libra Association, which is an independent organization that will manage the currency, @cnn reports.
#MarkZuckerberg has said that he wants to make sending money as easy as sending a photo: digital, immediate, free of charge and secure. The currency itself is set to launch in 2020.
One of the project’s goals is to help the 1.7 billion people around the world who don’t have bank accounts access a stable currency and financial services.
At the same time, the announcement comes at a critical moment in Facebook’s history while the company is under regulatory and political scrutiny for its massive influence, as well as its mishandling of user data.
“Libra’s mission is to be a simple, global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people,” said Facebook’s David Marcus, who headed up the Libra project.
In recent months, the company established the Libra Association, a not-for-profit governing body that will oversee Libra. Facebook says it did not want to be solely in charge of Libra because it intends for the cryptocurrency to be a “public good.”
Among the founding members of the association are heavy hitters in the tech, finance, and nonprofit sectors including Mastercard (MA), Uber (UBER), Mercy Corps and Andreesen Horowitz.
Users will be able to access Libra in a number of ways, not just through Facebook.
Facebook’s new subsidiary Calibra will build a “wallet” app for people to use Libra, send it to their friends and make purchases on Facebook and Instagram. A button on Whatsapp and Messenger will allow users to send Libra in their message threads, the same way they can send GIFs or emojis.
The major challenge is getting people and businesses on board.
To get Libra, users will need to go to their local bank or money exchange to trade local currency for it. For a user to spend the money their friend sent over Messenger without first depositing it back into their bank account will require their favorite clothing store or restaurant to accept Libra as payment too.
Roommates, will you be using Facebook’s currency? Let us know!
TSR STAFF: Christina C! @cdelafresh