If you haven’t already heard, Facebook is launching a cryptocurrency with its subsidiary, Calibra. Their new cryptocurrency is called Libra and the pending launch is obviously big news. The development of it is definitely something to stay on top of; especially if you’re interested in the progress of digital currency.
To use Libra, you will need a Calibra digital wallet. The difference being that the Calibra wallet is LIbra specific. The design promises to have many payment and banking features, as the Calibra wallet is positioning itself to be the new PayPal.
Now, before you get too excited about the launch of the new Calibra wallet, just keep in mind that it is planned for 2020. And from now until the launch we should expect that there will be many changes to the original design of the app. And there is no telling how Libra’s currency will be regulated.
One thing to get excited about is that we can assume that the Calibra wallet will be user-friendly. If there is one thing the creators of Facebook own, its mass appeal, and usability.
And if there is one thing that the crypto-world suffers from, it’s that it has yet to garner mass appeal, and for many seems totally daunting.
This is only to say, that if we can expect anyone to make digital currency trendy and usable; it’s Facebook, and I mean that as both a compliment and criticism.
Libra’s New Digital Wallet
Facebook and Calibra have stated that creating a digital currency and digital wallets is an effort to improve the global economy. Libra and the Calibra wallet intend to take on economic desserts, nations where many do not have access to bank accounts and easy payment systems.
Personally, I applaud the noble public relations move and hope that there is some sincerity in the project. Digital currency is proving every day that it is the way a good portion of our money will work in the very near future. And if this new technology is able to combat issues of resource and information scarcity, I say all the better for digital currencies.
Like other cryptocurrencies, Calibra will apply blockchain technology to maintain and secure the network. Unlike the OG cryptocurrency Bitcoin, however, Libra will be a centralized and permissioned blockchain. How long it will remain centralized is unseen. However, there are plans to move to a decentralized model as the coin matures.
Calibra Wallet has many definite and useful features:
- You can import or export an existing account
- It has the ability to send and receive Libra coins using a smartphone/app
- Just like your online banking app, you will see
- A list account balance transaction historySend and receive moneyPay bills
- With the app, you can generate a QR code of the account
- Currently: while it is in development you can mint new coins on the Libra Testnet.
- Everyone can mind “faucet” new coins and transfer them to a personal account
Aside from the basic ease of seeing all of your information in an app, much like your current online banking app, the Calibra wallet will also generate QR codes. You can call up at QR at any time to facilitate easy payments face-to-face. The idea is that Calibra wallet will eventually be used not only with digital peers but in person while paying for your lunch.
The design of the wallet is meant to be familiar and easy; like sending a text, or online banking.
The press release also states that they are aiming not just at individual users, but at small businesses.
Eventually, the app plans to offer features designed for easy payment processes, including hopes of being used one day for purchases including public transportation.
The First Step
As you may now know, Libra has not yet launched. But when it launches it will run on blockchain technology. Unlike Bitcoin and Ethereum, Libra’s currency is an asset-backed token and uses a centralized blockchain.
Nevertheless, it will need the Calibra wallet to run on and to facilitate day-to-day exchanges.
Alongside the implementation of a new asset-backed cryptocurrency, Calibra hopes to have their wallet replace PayPal as the easiest, most flexible method of digital payment.
As mentioned, the current launch is planned for 2020, and it will be applications that work with others of Facebook’s proprietary apps: Messenger, WhatsApp as well as an independent Calibra wallet app.
The general idea is to manage some of the scalability and stability issues that even the most regularly traded coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum face.
Libra is positioning itself as an asset-backed, centralized cryptocurrency. That means, that Libra’s value will be tied to assets like Uber and Facebook and Visa, to name a very few.
By using a centralized, permissioned, blockchain with an asset-backed token, Libra wants to become the most useable and reliable digital currencies on the market.
The issues that cryptocurrencies face are genuine. They are more often traded as assets and used to run platforms than as a daily currency. One of the reasons for this is that transactions currently use a significant amount of hashing power, which makes using Bitcoin as pocket cash, less desirable at this point.
Secondly, because valuable cryptocurrencies like ETH and BTC experience significant volatility, it makes paying for small purchases unadvisable because the value of your coins constantly changes.
Essentially what this means, is that cryptocurrencies are not used the way Bitcoin was intended; which is like cash. And these limitations are a few of the issues that keep a mainstream market from using cryptocurrencies freely.
Libra aims to be part of the solution to the issues of scalability and volatility with centralization and asset-backed tokens. This is where Facebook intends to cash out on its 7 million advertisers’ massive user outreach.
Libra’s major claim that it plans to fill the gap between the developed world with network and banking access and other nations which have limited access to necessary financial services.
By Libra’s records, only about half of the world has active bank accounts. Of those stats, the situation is much worse for women. Similarly, small businesses in developing countries struggle with access to financial institutions and the requisite capital to run a business.
With the ease of access and financial flexibility, Calibra envisions its wallet as providing a much-needed service.
Security and Privacy
Along with offering a digital wallet to use Calibra’s new coin, they also promise a gamut of customer service products and security provisions that decentralized cryptocurrencies cannot offer.
Calibra states that to protect privacy they will have:
- Strong protection to keep your money and your information safe, using the verification and anti-fraud processes currently used by banks and credit cards
- Automated systems will monitor activity to detect and prevent fraudulent transactions
- Live customer support to help with lost phones or passwords
- If there is a fraudulent transaction on your account Libra will refund your losses.
The Calibra Wallet is poised to offer products that many cryptocurrencies do not have. And a large part of that is customer service.
The cryptographic design and consensus-based decentralized platforms that Bitcoin and Ethereum operate to offer a new product and value system. Libra, however, is offering more of the same in terms of fintech, with some improvements for users.
As for your privacy, Calibra claims it will not share account information or financial data with Facebook or any third party without customer consent. So, customers’ information and financial data will not be used for ad targeting on Facebook.