David Marcus, who is heading Facebook's cryptocurrency operation, tweeted on Tuesday that Libra is in part aimed at "the 1.7 billion people who are still unbanked 30 years after the invention of the web".
The social network will launch the cryptocurrency in 2020, complete with a wallet developed by Facebook's new Calibra subsidiary. Unlike most cryptocurrencies now out there, Facebook's Libra will be backed by a reserve of real assets, which means its value will remain largely stable. Apart from Facebook, the Libra Association includes several other leading companies such as PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, eBay, Coinbase, Spotify, Vodafone, Lyft, Uber, and more.
The goal, Facebook says, is to provide people around the world with a simple, secure way to save, send, and spend money.
"Aside from limited cases, Calibra will not share account information or financial data with Facebook or any third party without customer consent".
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"Backed by a basket of fiat currency-denominated assets in its initial release, Libra represents a first attempt at creating a world currency, on-chain or not, with everyday usage by billions of individuals and institutions across the globe."
The Libra blockchain will be permissioned, meaning that only entities authorized by the governing association will be able to run the computers.
Facebook eventually wants to make Calibra available for transactions across its family of apps, such as digital checkouts for purchases on Instagram. Facebook dubs it a "new global currency powered by blockchain technology".
Every person who uses Calibra will have to go through a "know your customer" process, which verifies user identities to prevent financial crimes. Data will be shared for the purposes of complying with the law or providing basic functionality within Calibra, but that data won't be used for ad targeting on Facebook proper.
Libra will be different, Facebook says, in part because its value will be pegged to a basket of established currencies such as the USA dollar, the euro, the yen and others.
Libra partners will create incentives to get people and merchants to use the coin.