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Facebook has announced its new digital wallet, Calibra, and its new global currency powered by blockchain technology, Libra.
Calibra is a newly formed Facebook subsidiary whose goal is to provide financial services that will people access and participate in the Libra network. Its first product is a digital wallet that will allow you to save, send, and spend Libra.
In the beginning, Calibra will let you send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone at low to no cost. The company hopes to add more services in the future to allow users to purchase goods and services with Libra using QR codes.
It features strong protections including verification and anti-fraud processes that banks and credit cards use, automated systems that will proactively monitor activity to detect and prevent fraudulent behavior, dedicated live support to help if you lose your phone or your password, and if someone fraudulently gains access to your account and you lose some Libra as a result, the company will offer a refund.
Facebook also emphasizes that Calibra will protect the user’s privacy and will not share account information or financial data with Facebook or any third party without customer consent. This means Calibra customers’ account information and financial data will not be used to improve ad targeting on the Facebook family of products.
Calibra hopes to service people around the world that don’t have access to basic financial services. According to Facebook, approximately 70% of small businesses in developing countries lack access to credit and $25 billion is lost by migrants every year through remittance fees.
The Calibra digital wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app and is expected to launch in 2020.
Libra is governed by the Libra Association, an independent, not-for-profit membership organization, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is co-founded by Mastercard, PayPal, PayU (Naspers’ fintech arm), Stripe, Visa, Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook/Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, Mercado Pago, Spotify AB, Uber Technologies, Inc., Iliad, Vodafone Group, Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Inc., Xapo Holdings Limited, Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures, Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva,Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking.