Facebook just got into digital currency. Facebook’s “Libra” cryptocurrency is expected to launch this year and it’s more like a combination of PayPal and Bitcoin as it will enable you to send money to people and also let you buy things. It is designed to be easy enough for everyone to use. Libra Coin was earlier planned to be launched on their wallet app known as Calibra which got ditched and is now known as ‘Novi Wallet’.
How To Buy Libra Coin?
As of now there are many fake websites which are popping up on the internet with their claims of selling Libra Coin. However, all those sites are fake and are trying to catch on the success of Libra Coin. There are some websites which even appear above the official libra.org website, one such fake website is officiallibracoin.org which is luring users into buying a fake Libra Coin. The correct procedure to get your hands on Libra coin is explained below:
- Go to Novi. Novi is the official Libra Wallet website
- Register for an account. Currently you may see “Get Novi First“, click it and register and you will be notified once Libra coin is launched
- After creating your account you will be given access to Novi Wallet where you can store and send Libra Coins.
- Buying of Libra Coin will be done through your Novi Wallet
Libra Coin will be Anonymous ?
You will need a government-issued ID to sign up for an account. It is important to verify your identity to abide by the laws and prevent deception, so you know people are who they say they are. After verifying with your ID, you’ll be able to use/spend for online shopping or potentially pay for the services you use e.g. eBay, Spotify, Uber, VISA, PayPal etc. Libra coin will not be anonymous and thinking Facebook will make anything anonymous would be wrong in the first place.
When Novi Wallet be Launched ?
Libra Coin and Novi Wallet are currently under development and hopefully will be available in coming weeks. You may signup for the waiting list so that you are notified whenever Libra is launched. Novi will be available in your app stores or google play store for you to download and use easily. Signing up for the newsletter will put you among the first one’s to know about it. You can also comment in this post and we will inform you whenever there is an update.
Facebook might not be the ideal company to trust them with our data but this is the catch which they have presented us with. Trust Facebook and get Libra Coin or miss something huge.
Libra Coin – The Global Digital Currency
As of now Novi is available in few countries, but they aim to make Novi accessible to as many countries as possible. Libra Coin will be available to only those who have access to Novi Wallet, by making Novi regional Facebook is making Libra regional too. However, users will find ways of installing Novi Wallets on their devices and asking users to send them LBR (Libra Coin) and paying them through other means, most probably BTC.
Why Choose Libra Coin?
In a nutshell, keeping Libra Coin is just like having fiat because either you can use ‘Libra Coin’ through the Libra’s wallet app (Novi Wallet) installed on your smartphone or you can convert Libra from any local convenient store by converting digital currency to your local fiat and you will get getting nearly the same amount of Libra Coin. Libra Coin will be having a visual representation by three horizontal wavy lines emoji ( ≋) instead of your local currency sign in the Novi Wallet.
Many companies liek eBay, Spotify, Uber, VISA, PayPal etc have partnered with Facebook to make Libra popular. Since it is almost free to digitally move/transfer your money through Libra from one account to another, you don’t have to pay high credit card processing fee that can almost add 4% to your total, while some shops which will accept Libra coin will give you bonus discounts and free coins for signing up and paying through Libra. You will also be able to send and request money from friends and it is easy to send Libra coins just like a message, because Facebook aims to eventually integrate Libra inside WhatsApp and Messenger.
The wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app — and we expect to launch in 2020
Facebook Press Statement
Initially, the Libra payment system will support only a few digital currencies, such as ≋USD, ≋GBP and ≋EUR which will have the same value in the country’s respective currency (e.g. 1 USD, 1 GBP, 1 EUR). The Libra payment system will also support a combination of these digital currencies as ≋LBR. This would mean that If I buy 1 EUR , it will be denoted as 1 ≋EUR showing that I have 1 libra coin pegged against euro.
Over time, the Libra payment system intends to support additional digital currencies as support and usage of Libra coin is extended.
False Sense Of Privacy
You don’t have to attach your real name and identity to any of your payments, as they can be public. Yes, it sounds creepy because you don’t want anyone spying on you. In this regard, Facebook will keep all your financial data separate from your Facebook profile and news feed. Although others cannot know, but Facebook will know the real identity and will also know where and how you are spending your coins. Novi will also be available as a stand-alone app that does not require you to have a Facebook, WhatsApp, or Messenger account — you just need a government-issued ID to sign up and use Libra coin.
Facebook’s Libra Bringing Convenience
Eventually, Facebook hopes that you will use Libra to pay your bills, scan your wallet’s QR codes, to purchase food and snacks or any public transport ticket. Anytime you can cash out of Libra and get your local currency back into your account or handed to you at any local convenient store. Facebook is going to cash on it’s success and the user base and promote their new currency so much that everyone might just see a glimpse of Libra Coin. Facebook has a more robust interest profile on all of it’s users and they know how to ‘Target Potential Clients‘.
How Libra and Novi Really Work?
Blockchain technology is changing the way we use and move money around the world and has the potential to make financial services more accessible to people everywhere.
Libra coin is controlled and pegged against 1 USD and will be controlled just by Facebook. Creating a centralized permissioned network rendering it accessible to only those who are deemed fit by Facebook as per their laid down criteria. Facebook explains in their whitepaper, that permissionless blockchain is what we have like Bitcoin: anyone meeting the technical requirements can become a validator node but Libra wouldn’t allow that and only a selected people will be allowed to become a validator of the coin a.k.a Controlled and Centralized Coin.
The Libra Association
Libra is run by its 27
28 members of Libra Association (Mastercard has silently left out of Libra Association, no one knows the actual reason on why this happened, Mastercard logo and name has also been removed from the Association Member list) which is an independent non-profit organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is hoped to grow to a 100 members association by the time it launches in 2020. Financial companies like VISA and MasterCard, merchants and services apps like EBay and Uber etc. are also members of Libra Association. Each member of the association maintains a node on the network. Also members of the Libra Association hold one vote in “Libra Council” that controls what happens to the currency and elects a representative to serve on the Libra Association Council, each member shall pay at least ten million dollars. Members of Libra Association Council will be responsible to make sure the transactions are real and creating the Libra Reserve. You see each time you cash in a dollar, that money goes into a big bank account called the Libra Reserve and you get one Libra Coin in return. The drawbacks, technical and moral have been discussed thoroughly in this article.
Libra Reserve is made up of a collection of the most stable international currencies like U.S Dollar, G.B Pound, Euro and the Japanese Yen. The idea is that even if one of those currencies go up or down in price, the value of Libra stays stable. In this way, shops will accept Libra’s payment without worrying that the value of the coin will drop tomorrow.
I have mixed feelings about Facebook’s Libra Coin. Opinions will be formed and changed once it is officially launch, but If I jot down some of the aspects which may be considered as pros and cons : (in no particular order) :
- Libra can handle one thousand transactions per second while Bitcoin can only handle seven, as well as more stable cryptocurrency even in times of depreciation of local currency.
- If Facebook succeeds, the real win could be for 1.7 Billion people left in poverty with no bank accounts around the world. Exploited by international money sending services like Western Union or MoneyGram that charge steep 7% fees, earning around 50 Billion dollars per year.
- Libra Coin will not be traded on any cryptocurrency exchange, Libra coin will be pegged therefore it is not going to make you rich nor you will be able to mine Libra coin.
- The big risk with Libra Coin is that anyone will be able to develop apps for it, which can lead to big security risks. Instead of stealing just your photos and personal info, shady app developers can steal your digital currency. As Libra Coin is targeting poverty hit areas thus making them gullible to such hacking attempts.
- Only members of the Libra Association will be able to process transactions via the permissioned blockchain.
- Because of the centralized blockchain system, there are wide doors open for anyone to scam or to be scammed.
- If you are reading this , the twitter thread regarding Libra by Hackology might interest you aswell
What are your views about Libra Coin ? are your excited about it’s launch and when do you think it will be happening exactly ?