5 must-reads: What to make of Facebook’s Libra announcement

Earlier this week Facebook unveiled its plans to launch a new blockchain-based payments network called “Libra.” The announcement came after a lot of speculation over whether Facebook would be making an entry into the global cryptocurrency markets and how that might impact Facebook’s 2 billion global users.

In case you missed the announcement, here are a few quick takeaways from the Libra announcement:

  • While Facebook is the primary creator of the network, over 28 companies were involved in co-founding the “Calibra initiative” include Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Andreesen Horowitz and Uber.
  • Libra will act as a global currency, leveraging blockchain technology in order to serve unbanked consumers around the world.
  • Libra has its own coding language, which Facebook is touting as efficient and secure.
  • Facebook’s engineers are designing Libra’s interface to be friction-free – and presumably familiar to Facebook’s billions of users.

Given that payments is now a $110 trillion industry, it is not surprising to see a large social media platform like Facebook try to jump into the space. What this new payments network will actually mean for the future of payments – and financial services as a whole – remains to be seen.


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