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Facebook’s Libra and Calibra: Crypto in your pocket | TECH(feed)

Computerworld | Jun 20, 2019

Facebook’s announcement of its new cryptocurrency, Libra, and digital wallet, Calibra, means we all might be a step closer to adopting blockchain tech. The ability to carry around fiat-backed, digital currency in your pocket could disrupt the financial services industry. But how will rollout go for Facebook--and are people really willing to trust the company with their financial information? In this episode of TECH(feed), Juliet dives into Facebook’s announcement and discusses how it could change the banking landscape.

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Hey everyone welcome back to tech feed i’m juliet beauchamp. Today, let’s talk crypto. As more big tech companies get in the cryptocurrency game, we all may be paying with crypto sooner than you think. Stick around.

All right--let’s first dive into facebook’s newly announced cryptocurrency, libra. Yes, i am trying very hard not to make an astrology joke. I’m a capricorn. Anyway, facebook announced libra earlier this week. It’s a fiat-backed cryptocurrency, which means it’s supported by real money--the value won’t fluctuate with supply and demand like bitcoin. It wants to roll out libra, and its digital wallet called ca-libra, in 2020.

So how is facebook going to change the payment landscape? Well for one, libra is backed by tons of powerful financial and tech partners. Mastercard, visa, paypal, uber, spotify and, notably, coinbase have signed on to help manage the new libra network. That means that facebook--amid all its privacy scandals--won’t be in charge of processing your payments. And that also means facebook won’t have access to users’ purchases, and the company can’t use your financial data to better target ads. That seems pretty in-line with mark zuckerberg’s new privacy-focused campaign for facebook.

Calibra--which is the wallet slash app users will make payments through, will be available in messenger, whatsapp and as a standalone app. And this is why it has the potential to be super powerful. Calibra will give virtually anyone with an internet connection access to banking. And many whatsapp users, especially in developing countries, may flock to calibra as an alternative to a bank account or as a more stable currency option. Since libra is a fiat currency, it won’t be volatile like bitcoin. And since it’s on the blockchain, transactions can happen in an instant.

Facebook will still have to jump through some hoops before launching libra--since it’s money, it will need to meet government regulations. And every government may handle classification of libra differently. But still, as early as next year, we all could be walking around with a blockchain-powered cryptocurrency in our pocket--and it’ll be perfectly normal.

Though facebook may be the first big tech company to enter the crypto space, other giants will be right on their heels. Apple is reportedly preparing to launch a crypto wallet for your iphone--for more on that, check out the link below to a tech talk we did on apple’s cryptokit.

Thanks for watching this episode of tech feed. If you liked this video, be sure to give it a thumbs up and subscribe to our channel. And check out the link below to more on this story from computerworld. I want to know what you think about libra--will you use it once it launches? Do you trust facebook to make a cryptocurrency? Let me know. See you next time.
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