Facebook takes on the world of cryptocurrency with 'Libra' coin
SEE ALSO :Facebook curbs research toolMeanwhile French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said such digital money could never replace sovereign currencies. "The aspect of sovereignty must stay in the hands of states and not private companies which respond to private interests," Le Maire told Europe 1 radio. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Facebook's new currency would have to withstand scrutiny of its operational resilience and not allow itself to be used for money laundering or terror financing. ING economists Teunis Brosens and Carlo Cocuzzo said in a research note it was not clear what Libra was or how it might be overseen while US Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat and banking committee member, voiced concerns over Facebook's checkered record on protecting users' privacy. Backed by real cash
SEE ALSO :Dada mapacha walitukanana kwa FacebookThe Libra Association will be the only entity able to "mint or burn" the digital currency, maintaining supply in tune with demand and assets in reserve, according to Barel. "It is not about trusting Facebook, it is effectively trust in the association's founding organizations that this is independent and democratic," Disparte said. New directions The launch comes with Facebook seeking to move past a series of lapses on privacy and data protection that have tarnished its image and sparked scrutiny from regulators around the world. Chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has promised a new direction for Facebook built around smaller groups, private messaging and payments. The new Calibra digital wallet promises eventually to give Facebook opportunities to build financial services into its offerings, offer to expand its own commerce and let more small businesses buy ads on the social network. "We certainly see long-term value for Facebook," Barel said. Facebook said it would not make any money through Libra or Calibra, but rather was seeking to "drive adoption and scale" before exploring ways to monetize the new system. Financial information at Calibra will be kept strictly separate from social data on Facebook and won't be used to target ads, Calibra vice president of product Kevin Weil told AFP. Libra will be a regulated currency, subject to local laws in markets regarding fraud, guarding against money laundering and more, Weil said. 'Watershed' moment? According to Facebook and its partners, local currencies and Libra may be swapped at currency exchange houses or other businesses. And the ubiquity of smartphones means digital wallets for Libra could make banking and credit card services and e-commerce available in places where they don't now exist. Analyst and cryptocurrency investor Lou Kerner said Facebook's move has the potential to open the door for cryptocurrency to a wider public. "What Facebook is really good at, is making things really simple to use," Kerner told AFP. "And that's what is super exciting for the crypto industry, is somebody comes along who understands user experience and has billions of users that they can roll this out to."
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