Libra – The New Global Currency (Part 1)

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Facebook’s Libra announcement has occupied newsfeeds and timelines for quite some time now. We’ll be breaking down Libra in a multi-part article over the next few weeks.

Want to know more? Keep on reading!

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency –  Libra

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts and advocates have for the past weeks furiously debated Facebook’s cryptocurrency. Is it a blatant attempt at establishing enterprise control over the cryptocurrency market? Or is it a brilliant plan to drive up cryptocurrency adoption? 

Maybe a little bit of both? 

In this series of guides, we’ll be telling you all there is to know about this cryptocurrency. All in all, we maintain a neutral stance for the ten-part series. In this first installment, we give you a brief timeline of the lead up to Facebook’s heavily anticipated announcement. In the next episode, we dive into their plan to reach out to the ‘unbanked’.

A Brief Timeline

“We’ve opened a period of, however long it takes to address regulators and different experts and constituents’ questions about this and then figure out what the best way to move forward is,” Zuckerberg said during a quarterly earnings call. 

Above all, Facebook has had a rough year. Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal came to being in March 2018, Facebook has been under scrutiny from all fronts. 

Why wouldn’t they be? 

After all, over 50 million Facebook users had their private data compromised. In essence, this event was, by far, one of the worst data privacy breaches in history. That’s right! The scandal was damaging.

Imagine what it was like for 50 million users to have their personal data extracted for building psychological profiles. Above all, this information was used to influence elections around the world. 

Scandalous is one way to put it.

The aftermath: Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg had to testify in a congressional hearing. Moreover, Facebook’s shares went tumbling down. To illustrate, Facebook shares lost nearly 20% in value, around $120 billion at the time.

Introducing Libra – The Future Global Currency

Despite the terrible year, Facebook laid the groundwork for Libra in 2018. In May, the firm announced its intention to establish a blockchain division, run by David Marcus, who oversaw Facebook Messenger creation. At the start of the year, Mark Zuckerberg, in a new year’s resolution post, expressed intention to “go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of” cryptocurrencies.

As such, in December 2018 came the news that Facebook was building a cryptocurrency for transacting money through WhatsApp. In essence, the cryptocurrency is a direct attempt at taming the 400 million WhatsApp users in India. As a result, to ensure the crypto does not fall victim to the volatile cryptocurrency market, Libra will be a stable coin.

Finally, the formal announcement came June 2019, with the release of its whitepaper, and a roadmap set for the 2020 launch.

Last modified: October 16, 2019