Facebook raised the curtain on Libra, global cryptocurrency and blockchain-based financial infrastructure and governed by the Libra Association.
Libra is not immediately available: the goal of the founding organisations is to launch the new ecosystem in the first half of 2020. In the coming months the Libra Association will be working to develop, evolve, consolidate and scale the Libra network.
The association, which is based in Geneva, has among its members founding companies of international level in the fields of technology, telecommunications, financial services and others. In addition to Facebook, names such as PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, eBay, Spotify, Uber, Iliad, Vodafone and others.
The Libra cryptocurrency will therefore be governed by this independent association that the founding members intend to grow in a network of partners made of companies, non-profit organizations and academic institutions. And it will be based on a secure, reliable and scalable blockchain network, ensuring the companies involved in the project.
The Libra Association, in presenting the initiative, highlights how the advent of the Internet and mobile broadband has enabled billions of people globally to have access to information, communication tools and a wide range of services. However, large sections of the world’s population remain excluded from the financial system.
Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have several unique properties that could facilitate the global expansion of financial services: they are decentralized, globally accessible, low-cost and secure. However, mass adoption of blockchains and cryptocurrencies is hampered by various factors, including volatility, lack of scalability and regulatory compliance issues.
The companies that founded the Libra Association aim to fill this vacuum. According to the association, collaboration between the financial sector, regulators and experts in a variety of sectors is the only way to ensure that a sustainable, safe and reliable framework is the basis of this new digital system.
The association believes that this approach can lead to a huge leap forward towards a more accessible and connected global financial system.
Libra is therefore an ecosystem that will allow developers and companies to create new products related to financial services for people around the world. This ecosystem will be supported by Libra Blockchain, a new blockchain that has been built from scratch to prioritise scalability, security and reliability, as well as the flexibility required to ensure evolution over time. And from Libra Reserve, a reserve of real assets that will support cryptocurrency, providing low volatility, broad global acceptance and fungibility.
The Libra Association was founded to become responsible for the development of the Libra Blockchain and the management of the Libra Reserve. The initial group of founding organisations will work together to finalise the association’s statute.
The Founding Members are the following, broken down by sector.
• Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU (Naspers fintech company), Stripe, Visa.
• Technology and marketplace: Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook/Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, Mercado Pago, Spotify AB, Uber Technologies.
• Telecommunications: Iliad, Vodafone Group.
• Blockchain: Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Xapo Holdings Limited.
• Venture Capital: Andreessen Horowitz, Innovative Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures.
• Non-profit and multilateral organizations, and academic institutions: Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking.
In the coming months, they inform the founder companies, the association and its members will recruit additional members and raise funds in private placement to help start the ecosystem and push adoption.
In addition, the early-stage code of Libra Blockchain is released as open source under Apache 2.0 license. This testnet, which is already live, will allow the association to collect feedback from the developer community.
More information is available on the Libra Association website at this link.