Facebook has announced that in 2020 it will launch a cryptocurrency, Libra, which will be a global currency powered by blockchain.
According to the June 18 press release, people will be able to instantly send the digital currency as quickly as they would send a text message on a smartphone, “at low to no cost.” Facebook also released a whitepaper to introduce the, “new decentralized blockchain, a low-volatility cryptocurrency, and a smart contract platform that together aim to create a new opportunity for responsible financial services innovation.”
Unlike Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, Libra will be a blockchain-powered cryptocurrency backed by, “a reserve of assets designed to give it intrinsic value” the whitepaper explained.
Those assets will come from an association of approximately 100 members representing global payments organizations, technology and marketplaces, telecommunications, blockchain, venture capital and nonprofit organizations. Among the members are Mastercard, PayPal, PayU, Stripe and Visa.
In order to enable widespread adoption once Libra is introduced, Facebook said that the cryptocurrency is, “designed to be a stable digital cryptocurrency that will be fully backed by a reserve of real assets—the Libra Reserve—and supported by a competitive network of exchanges buying and selling Libra.”