2020 update Libra (Digital currency ) is a permissioned blockchain digital currency proposed by the American social media company Facebook, Inc.
The Libra payment system is built on blockchain technology to enable the open, instant, and low-cost movement of money. People will be able to send, receive, and spend their money, enabling a more inclusive global financial system.
The currency and network do not yet exist, and only rudimentary experimental code has been released. The launch is planned to be in 2020.
The project, currency and transactions are to be managed and cryptographically entrusted to the Libra Association, a membership organization of companies from payment, technology, telecommunication, online marketplace and venture capital, and nonprofits.
Logo of the Libra cryptocurrency.
Currency Libra History
Morgan Beller started working on cryptocurrency and blockchain at Facebook in 2017, and was initially the only person working on Facebook’s blockchain initiative.
Facebook vice president David A. Marcus moved from Facebook Messenger to a new blockchain division in May 2018. First reports of Facebook planning a cryptocurrency, with Marcus in charge, emerged a few days later.By February 2019, there were more than 50 engineers working on the project.
Confirmation that Facebook intended a cryptocurrency first emerged in May 2019. At this time it was known as “GlobalCoin” or “Facebook Coin”.
Libra was formally announced on June 18, 2019.The creators of the coin are listed as Morgan Beller, David Marcus and Kevin Weil (Calibra’s VP of Product).
A first version is projected to be released in 2020.
On July 15, 2019, Facebook announced the currency will not launch until all regulatory concerns have been met and Libra has the “appropriate approvals”.
In a meeting with top Senate Democratic leaders on September 18, 2019, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg told lawmakers that Libra would not be launched anywhere in the world without first obtaining approval from United States regulators.
PayPal left the Libra Association on 4 October 2019. eBay, Mastercard, Stripe, Visa and Mercado Pago followed on 11 October, and Booking Holdings on 14 October
USD And EURO
In contrast to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin which use permissionless blockchains, Libra is not decentralized, relying on trust in the Libra Association as “a de facto central bank”.
In September, Facebook announced that the reserve basket would be made up of: 50% United States dollar, 18% Euro, 14% Japanese yen, 11% Pound sterling and 7% Singapore dollar.
Web Art logo The Payment System.
Libra has considered using coins based on individual national currencies on the network, alongside the basket-based Libra token. This was first mooted publicly by David Marcus in October 2019, and by Mark Zuckerberg in his October 2019 Senate testimony. The idea was promoted again in March 2020.
On April 16, 2020, Libra announced plans to create an infrastructure for multiple cryptocurrencies, the preponderance of which will be backed by individual fiat currencies, and said the association was in talks with regulators from Switzerland for a payments license.
Libra will not rely on cryptocurrency mining. Only members of the Libra Association will be able to process transactions via the permissioned blockchain.
Libra hopes to begin transitioning to a permissionless proof-of-stake system within five years although their own materials admit that no solution exists “that can deliver the scale, stability, and security needed to support billions of people and transactions across the globe through a permissionless network.”
Libra’s source code is written in Rust and published as open source under the Apache License with the launch on 18 June 2019.
Elaine Ou, an opinion writer at Bloomberg News, tried compiling and running the publicly released code for Libra. As supplied, the software did little more than allow fake coins to be put in a wallet; almost none of the functionality outlined in the white paper is implemented, including “major architectural features that have yet to be invented.” Ou was surprised that Facebook “would release software in such a state.”
Facebook plans to release a digital wallet called Calibra in 2020, to be made available in Messenger and WhatsApp, as well as in a standalone app.