September 22, 2019

How Libra Would Work for You

Facebook said it intended to offer Libra to almost all of the 2.7 billion customers who are now on its Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp services. It will also hopes to allow Libra to be used for payments for things like ads on its social network.

Facebook has set up a subsidiary, Calibra, which will be responsible for making Libra available to its users. Calibra intends to build other services on top of Libra, including, eventually, financial services like lending and investing.

Facebook hopes its partners, such as Uber and Spotify, will also take Libra as payment for car rides and online subscriptions, as they do with PayPal and Venmo today.

Every time someone buys Libra, that money will be deposited into a bank account where it will sit untouched, so that every dollar’s or euro’s worth of Libra will be backed by a dollar or euro in the bank, according to the Libra design documents. This is important because the bank holdings of Libra will generate interest that can be used to pay back the cryptocurrency’s initial investors. This structure will mean that an infinite number of Libra can be generated, in contrast to Bitcoin, which is meant to be capped at 21 million. Creating new Libra will not require anything like Bitcoin’s mining process, which has consumed enormous amounts of electricity and made Bitcoin the target of environmental critics.

Facebook and other companies that have created Libra wallets can encourage new customers by giving them a small number of Libra to get started. You will also be able to buy Libra by transferring money from a bank account or debit card. The cost of an individual Libra will be determined by the value of the basket of global currencies that backs up Libra, which will fluctuate slightly over time based on the value of the underlying currencies.

If Libra works as intended, once customers own Libra, they will be able to send them to any other business or person with a Libra wallet, anywhere in the world.

If you want to turn Libra back into dollars or other traditional currencies, Facebook’s wallet, Calibra, will make the conversion at the going rate — based on the current value of the underlying currencies — and transfer the money to another bank or online financial account like PayPal.

Article source: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/18/technology/how-libra-would-work-for-you.html?emc=rss&partner=rss

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