Facebook crypto comes alive! , 1.7 billion unbanked targeted.

You don’t need to have a Facebook account before you are to use Libra.
That’s the pattern whereby the users are free to decide , it’s not going to be restricted to Facebook management as the apply the hands-off approach which the social media giant is working toward as it announces its new blockchain and including the token of the same name that will run on top of it.

The scope of the project is far-reaching while the Tuesday’s announcement is still fresh and beginning. This includes a new Facebook subsidiary, known as Calibra, and an independent consortium, Libra Association, backed by some of tech’s  biggest names in technology industry.

Dante Disparte, head of policy and communications for the Libra Association, in an exclusive interview said; “In so many ways it’s said that; “Wherever Visa or Mastercard logo are accepted, Libra would be applied too as it is programmed in that way in the project , as a matter of fact , it’s obviously a leap and a great way forward for cryptocurrencies and, in many respects, a mainstreaming of this asset class.”

Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Uber, Lyft,  and others which includes, the Libra Association’s group of 28 founding members are involved. With an initial focus on international or foreign remittances., customers who are interested in holding or transferring Facebook’s new Libra token will be given some options to do so as announced by the company on Tuesday.

All the financial services and every other products around the Libra network, will be developed by Calibra though it will eventually be fully governed by the independent Libra Association.

Users will be able to transfer funds to each other, as well as store their tokens locally with digital wallet which Calibra will develop for Libra coin.

Customers will be able to access the wallet functions through Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp services or through a new stand alone app on iOS and Android. Sometime next year, we are expecting the Libra Blockchain to be launched in full.
However, The main goal here is actually the financial inclusion,” Disparte said.
Building a financial ecosystem to reach the unbanked.

Having access to these apps could be potentially significant. According to TechCrunch, In the fourth quarter of 2017, WhatsApp saw 1.5 billion active monthly users meanwhile globally 1.7 billion adults still remain unbanked.

“The goal of this new project is to empower billions of people by building a financial ecosystem that can come in to help ,” Disparte stated.

The new effort is explicitly branded to reach those populations.

This initiative will have a far-reaching goal for the major tech companies and financial institutions backing the project, that may one day definitely mean access to more customers and also for those struggling to access capital would have gotten a kind of lifeline abroad.

Almost half of the adults in the world don’t have an active bank account, basic financial services still not within their reach and those numbers are worse in developing countries as they have more people coming from there who are Unbanked and even worse amongst women,”

The company literature published on Tuesday,written by Calibra added that;

Approximately 70 percent of small businesses in developing countries lack access to credit, and as such $25 billion is lost by migrants every year through remittance fees.” The cost of that exclusion is high.

A number of NGOs among the payments giants are involved in the Libra Association, which includes, Creative Destruction Lab, Mercy Corps, Kiva and Women’s World Banking. To become a “Social Impact Partner,” an operating budget of $50 million and more is necessary, participating non-profits must have a five-year track record of poverty alleviation work done including digital financial inclusion initiatives in the field.

For now Calibra wants to start with only targeting basic fund transfers while the subsidiary has laid out plans to expand its services to allow customers to pay their bills and purchase goods or services, such as coffee or public transit access.

A video demonstrating the planned user interface shows that customers will be able to send funds to their friends much faster and as they are sending Libra coins, the app appears simultaneously showing users their balance in their local fiat currency and also the fiat equivalent that the recipients will see in their own local currencies.

Disparte added, “ The internet created a world of low-friction communication and information sharing. Now looking to a situation whereby we can create a world of value transfer and payment that has an equal low-friction functionality to it without sacrificing the standards that embodies the traditional economy through public ecosystem and public utility creation.
Regulatory compliance”

Anti-money-laundering and know-your-customer regulations in the areas in which it conducts business are of the services to be rendered by Calibra, according to a fact sheet.
After the registrations as a money services with the U.S. Department of Treasury, Calibra and is now on hot preparations to acquire money transmitter licenses in U.S. states “that treats cryptocurrencies as the equivalent of money.”

It will not conduct business in locations which have outright ban on cryptocurrencies as it intends to operate on the guidelines issued by the Financial Action Task Force and other national regulators.

According to the fact sheet, “Calibra is committed to making sure that it keeps fraudulent activity off the platform and working with law enforcement globally,”

Information coming from the company officials and the Libra white paper said, in its efforts to maintain compliance, Calibra will require ID verification. However, financial data and social media profiles will not be linked at all for privacy.

“A user is free to create multiple accounts by generating multiple key-pairs as the Libra protocol is built such that it does not link accounts to a real-world identity,” the white paper stated.

when the network launches in early 2020, it will afford other wallet providers an opportunity to be able to build products on the Libra protocol Facebook officials added.

The Calibra wallet as part of their features, will use similar verification and anti-fraud procedures that banks and credit card providers currently use, including systems that monitor accounts for unusual behaviour in order to prevent fraudulent activity.
“ As part of the security , authorities charged with the function of consumer protection have an important role to play in ensuring that all consumers, including the most vulnerable, can safely and confidently take advantage of financial innovation,”

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Credits: Credit: Zack Seward , Nikhilesh De

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