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Last updated 09:51 GMT 18 June 2019

Facebook has announced Libra,  its cryptocurrency its says is “reinventing money”

Sending money will be a simple as sending a message or photo for users of its WhatsApp and Messenger products, Facebook claims.

The whitepaper for the Libra blockchain is available here.

The network is scheduled to go live in early 2020.

New Facebook app – Calibra

The currency’s tight integration with Facebook is underscored
by the release of a new Facebook app called Calibra, essentially a wallet app
for the Libra coin.

“Send money the way you send a message or a photo” Facebook announces
on the website of its news app.

On the Calibra website the blurb reads: “Save, send and
spend your money, all in the Calibra app. Top up your phone or pay bills. Your
transactions will be private and secure.”

Facebook privacy issues?

Facebook uses the word ‘private’ when talking about its new money, but that could be a barrier to adoption.

Account set up, as expected, is verified with a government-issued ID.

It’s not clear from first glance at the Calibra website the
size of the fees on transactions, but they are described as “low”.

Calibra transaction fees

In the Calibra FAQ it says: “Transaction fees will be
low-cost and transparent, especially if you’re sending money internationally.
Calibra will cut fees to help people keep more of their money.”

Calibra is still under development but you can sign up for
early access.

The app is standalone but also built into WhatsApp and
Messenger.

Calibra aims to tbe global money and Facebook “is working to
bring Calibra to as many countries as possible”.

Calibra is described as s subsidiary of Facebook but at the
same time “operates independently from Facebook”.

Libra is backed by fiat and “other assets”.

The Libra blockchain and Move language

Libra uses a byzantine fault tolerance tech, called the LibraBFT consensus protocol and a coding language it calls Move.

Described as “safe and flexible, you can find out more about More here.

A preview of the Testnet is available here.

Libra Classic 🙂

Not everyone is impressed though, as witnessed by a Github repo that has just been created for ‘Libra Classic’

The planned fork (or spoof) git ReadMe states: “Libra Classic implements a decentralized, programmable database which provides a financial infrastructure that can empower billions of people without sacrificing privacy or profiting large American corporations.”

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