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Facebook Subsidiary, Calibra, New Digital Wallet for a New Digital Currency, Libra

     
11:34 am on Jun 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Facebook is really getting into cryptocurrency with a new company, and a new cryptocurrency.

Facebook is launching a subsidiary, Calibra, and it'll provide financial services on the Libra network, with a digital wallet for Libra, and a new cryptocurrency.

From the beginning, Calibra will let you send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone, as easily and instantly as you might send a text message and at low to no cost. And, in time, we hope to offer additional services for people and businesses, like paying bills with the push of a button, buying a cup of coffee with the scan of a code or riding your local public transit without needing to carry cash or a metro pass.


[newsroom.fb.com...]

It's in its early stages right now, but it's confirmed what was thought.
Earlier stories
Facebook launching Crypto-Currency [webmasterworld.com]
12:16 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Google, Apple and Amazon are left out of the consortium.
Mr. Zuckerberg seems to feel himself strong enough.
12:27 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The country of Facebook, all hail king Zuckerberg?

I don't think so, it's just a social media platform who's owner has decided to impose his views and his morals on it's users by silencing views he does not like and moulding views of the others.

The heck if I want to take up his new currency, I already have one, and I like my platforms unbiased and open, thanks.. Why does this stuff always happen under the banner of "inclusion" when it sets out to ban things and go it alone?
1:57 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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So its a cryptocurrency without the privacy or a credit token akin to a bankers draft but not issued by a bank.

Also, every country with exchange controls is going to limit its usage severely. One of its biggest potential markets, India, is on the verge of banning cryptocurrencies completely.
2:51 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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So its a cryptocurrency without the privacy or a credit token

Air Miles?

The two main benefits of cryptocurrency:
1- Decentralized, not control by a governments or other institution. Thus it prevents the currency from being manipulated by a single malicious or greedy actor. (side note: 50+1 attack is possible on a cryptocurrency, so not even it meets this high bar). This would prevent a government or other from devaluing the currency.

2- Anonymous, provides privacy protection yet remains transparent. The hashed key wallet provides a means anonymizing the wallet holders identity, yet all transactions are visible on the public blockchain.

Now with Facebook:
1- Decentralized, not control by a governments or other institution. No the exact opposite, the currency will be controlled by a single source (or consortium, which is likely more about smoke and mirror than anything else). This single source is not even a government (a body elected by the will of the people (at least in most democratic countries)) it is a corporation controlled by the worlds richest people. It can be devalued, revalued, or simply be put out of service at any time.
2- Anonymous, provides privacy protection yet remains transparent. FACEBOOK need we say more.
The currency will be directly linked to your FB account every purchase and all flows of money will be traceable directly to you and only visible to FB and its paying partners. Now FB says they will not use this data to advertise to you, but let us be clear this data will still be collected and used in far more hidden and secretive ways.

This is exactly the Anti-Cryptocurrency.

"Calibra the Anti-Cryptocurrency"

Air Miles was created as means to track peoples purchases by providing marginal rewards in exchange for sharing your personal and private information. This is that on steroids times 100. Unfortunately I fear that many people will be duped by the slick marketing and pie in the sky promises. This will be specially true in third world and developing markets where people have limited access to cash and capital.

This is scary sht
3:23 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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There isn't much unbiased oversight these days, especially in media and hollywood, so difficult times may be ahead.

I don't see people screaming for a new Zuckerberg currency so, to me, this means it's zuckerberg who wants such a currency and his interests don't include privacy. They include power and control so again, no thanks.
3:40 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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This really is a move by FB to lock more people into its ecosystem.

I also worry that it's easier for fraudsters to get paid, too.
3:42 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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With the airtight data security of FB, what could go wrong? Oh, wait.

personally, the name they've chosen is waaay too close to "culebra" (snake)

8:32 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Zuck is complicating things,
9:28 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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More: ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency will be ‘governed’ by Switzerland-based coalition of elites and already has the backing of Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Uber and Stripe. It's unknown what's in it for them however securing them as backers suggests they have a stake. (Google and Apple do not)

The Libra currency will be accessible through Facebook, Messenger, and a standalone Libra app and users will need a government-issued ID in order to open an account.

Zuckerberg, in a statement, had the gaul to say this takes Facebook a step closer to being a "privacy-focused social platform".

I wonder, does this have anything to do with all of the wealth realocation talk coming from the same pro-socialist elite who will govern Zucks zucks? It's definitely nothing any of it's users have been asking for(or needing).
9:42 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The backing is pretty limited. They put down what is (for them) a small amount of money so they have the option of influencing it and profiting from it if it takes off.

Google and Apple have their own payment systems.

Personally bank transfers and cash pretty much cover all my needs. International transfers are somewhat expensive through a bank so you need to shop around but there are already services providing cheaper alternatives.

The only real market for this is "migrant workers sending money back home to family who do not have bank accounts" - a shrinking market as more people (even in poor countries) are opening bank accounts (especially if someone is sending them money to put in it). There is somethingg amusing about FB as a sort of hawala broker alternative ( [en.wikipedia.org...] ).
9:53 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I think the big issue for this is going to be securing "trust."
This follows on from the Cambridge Analytica debacle, amongst others.
Having said that, I think it'll gain traction, but as to how much, only time will tell.
9:55 pm on June 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't know, I haven't had a Facebook account for many years and have never wished I did. I couldn't read Zuckerberg's official statement because he made it on Facebook and it's stuck behind a "you must be logged in" screen.

What I do know, if they censor who or what you can pay for like they censor what you can say or what political opinion they support then it's going to be a hard no from a whole lot of people.

I think the company needs to be broken up, especially if it grows a banking arm that sends money between countries.. It's all well and good for Zuckerberg to hand pick several socialist elites to be overwatch but that's not overwatch now is it.
7:04 am on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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The name 'Libra' seems likes an extremely odd choice of name to me: considering that in Spanish 'Libra' is also the name for the British Pound (libra esterlina).
Considering that Spanish is more commonly spoken than English and is the World's second most commonly spoken language, I'm also very surprised to have seen zero mention of this in the media.
10:26 am on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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LOL @ Facebook -- It's a social media platform - You know - Sort of like a toy. Something to play with.

Getting serious with Facebook is not too unlike breaking your neck to get home on time so you don't miss your favourite soap box opera LOL

I don't keep our financial statements in our child's toy box for much the same reasoning as to why I don't use the likes of Google, Apple, and now Facebook for financial transactions.

Toys are what they are, and being since this is just the internet, I prefer to keep our financial transactions separate from them.
4:45 pm on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Governments (and their central banks) control money by printing it (or taking it out of circulation via monetary policy).
Bitcoin and others, avoid this govt control.
Libra does exactly the opposite.

Tie it to actual gold, silver, digital mining, or some other way to create scarcity WITHOUT centralized control, otherwise, it's just fiat money in a different form.

The definition of cryptocurrency excludes Libra:
[en.wikipedia.org...]
5:36 pm on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Below is a link to a recording of the Brian Lehrer show that provides a more mainstream view of this topic, with an in depth explanation of some the details of the product and of the structure. Interestingly the general public seems to be just as skeptical as us here at WW.
[wnyc.org...]
9:54 pm on June 19, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Financial laws require the data retention of customers for 5 years.

I have seen it suggested that this move is being done so that they retain user data for longer and be subjected to a different regulatory standards for data retention than would be allowed without. EU especially.
12:58 am on June 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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"avoid wrongthink or lose your transaction ability"

Regulators would do well to demand equal access to ALL payment types on Facebook and not allow a defacto bank of Facebook that comes complete with adherence to Zuckerberg's views on acceptable morality.

Also: The oversight chosen by Mr Zuckerberg is heavily biased politically and will not lend itself to monitoring for signs of illegal activity or to see how much of the welfare role is sent abroad. Is this going to be a problem?
1:50 am on June 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm going to go further here.

In 2018 Facebook banned all crypto-currency ads from their platform, including bitcoin, and at that time Mr Zuckerberg would have already been working on this new currency. They took out the competition before the competition knew they were competitors. That's probably not even legal and if it is, it's wrong.

One word, monopoly, it needs to be broken up and regulated by gov, not by the elite socialists Zuckerberg chose to do that job.
12:00 pm on June 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It seems there's going to be questions in the Senate over this with the Banking Committee meeting on July 16, and David Marcus called to discuss the matter.
Representative Maxine Waters, the Democrat who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said Tuesday she planned to similarly call Facebook to testify, and asked the company to halt the project while policymakers studied it.

[reuters.com...]
10:12 am on June 22, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Well that's something I suppose but Maxine Waters? Her own email regularly confuses her apparently. I'd have to see substance in her actions, feigning concern but ultimately doing nothing is happening a lot right now.

To recap
- Facebook bans competing crypto companies from advertising on Facebook
- This while Facebook was creating a new crypto-currency themselves
- Facebook, Twitter and Google are heavily censoring specific political points of view, incl sources
- Google launches an update that decimates the traffic of several crypto-currency companies causing one, CCN, to close it's doors
- Someone who knows nothing about tech and is as liberal as these companies is asking liberals to "investigate".

The bigger picture - a small group of socialist elites will get their new global currency, without oversight, based in a country that answers to nobody.

Am i missing something here? I usually am, serious question, this looks really bad the more you look.
3:47 am on June 27, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Four days later the world no longer cares, zuckerbucks inc.
12:41 am on July 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I read an article somewhere , the verge I think, seemed to me on the face of it (no pun intended) it was certainly trying to present itself as anything but a monopoly and it said FB only had one vote on the committee etc. It also said it was open to anyone qualifying joining including google, twitter etc. But it would say all this stuff wouldnt it. These companies know how it works very well - they build something and offer it for free so that there is nothing out there that can match it. The users flock in , sing its praises (in this case lots of people and businesses round the world able to send money without the crazy bank fees, process online payments without merchant processor fees etc). It becomes huge and omnipresent. It even becomes a verb " yes, just libra it over to me" then when it is embedded in every ones lives the end game becomes more apparent. A tweak here and feature there is added taking more and more control over everything. Ten years down the line and everyone gets paid in Libra, you cant buy a house or car without a libra loan (which they now control not the banks), countries currencies and the stock exchange become tied to the libra and only those in power really know how the algorithms in the background effect things and in fact if they are honest, since they passed most of the control over to AI, they dont actually know themselves.

I love technology but Im really beginning to distrust the way things are going now and can see us descending into a tech driven dystopian nightmare and this could play a big role in it.

If left unchecked to be freely available around the globe it could easily be a very quick success. When I read about it my gut instinct was " I want this , it will be great for business for me". I pay 100s of thousands of USD in credit card and banking fees a year - imagine how much it could save me was my first thought for a fleeting moment. But it wouldn't work like that. The lower transaction costs would simply mean those savings would be passed onto the consumer as everyone competes to offer the cheapest price. The savings wouldn't be on our bottom line and we would be the same but tied into this system with no where else to go as it wouldn't be cost efficient.

That said , I also agree with the statements above that say that governments are not going to stand for it so that will probably stop it in its tracks. There is no way that countries are going to allow that much be taken out of their control. Apart from the simple fact that they want the control it could have devastating effects on the financial sectors if it took off. How much revenue and funding do governments get and rely on from that sector. When the banking systems run into trouble the governments do everything they can to bail them out because it is key to the stability of the country. So rather then bail out banks with big payments they would take the easy route and just ban the crypto currency that is causing the problems.

So ironically government control might end up being the saviour of our financial freedoms, or at least help maintain it to the currently controlled level dashing the dreams of money launderers and drug barrens the world over (and that cyborg zuckerberg)