Libra Long and Prosper
While I've been under a rock, my handy push app notifications have kept me somewhat informed about this Facebook Libra business. And from what I've gathered, Libra has generated more than a little discussion in the #cryptocommunity.
Libra has also naturally become a focal point for federal legislators and regulators. It makes sense--Facebook is a huge target for lawmakers as it is the largest social media platform with more than 2 BILLION monthly active users (that's 1/4 of the world's population). Here are three things to talk about at your next dinner party (are those even a "thing" anymore?) with respect to Libra:
1. Is it a currency? Is it a security? Facebook says Libra is a currency. There are some who think the Securities and Exchange Commission may consider Libra to be a security. If you have paid any attention to anything related crypto/digital currency in the past 2 years, you know that this currency/security question is a pretty significant threshold issue that is almost outcome-determinative. I imagine that an SEC determination that Libra is a security would derail the entire project (at least as it is currently envisioned). We shall see what my favorite regulator says.
2. What is this Libra Association? Prospectively headquartered in Switzerland, the Libra Association is comprised of organizational members from various industries (finance, tech, education, etc.). The Association seems to serve three main functions: operate the Libra blockchain (at least in the early years), create and implement a framework for governing the Libra blockchain, and carry out various social impact initiatives designed to encourage financial inclusion. The Association has a number of big name members but it does not have any banks as members. This absence has been the subject of quite a few headlines because it suggests that banks are still at odds with #cryptoinnovation. Talks with banks are ongoing and I'm sure they'll come aboard eventually (if lawmakers don't kill the project first).
3. Who is Calibra? Calibra is a what, and not a who. But this element of the entire Facebook/Libra/crypto conversation is not talked up nearly as much as it probably should be. Calibra is basically Facebook's own version of PayPal. It is a digital wallet that allows users to store money and transfer money across borders (with low fees). Calibra is technically a Facebook subsidiary and will very likely be the way in which Facebook's 2 billion users are introduced to Libra. Users of Calibra will be able to use the service even if they don't have bank accounts or credit cards. The potential for significant adoption of Calibra is even greater when you consider the fact that Facebook owns WhatsApp and Calibra will be made available as an app download for non-Facebook account holders.
That's all. Thanks for reading!