Facebook’s move to roll out an entirely new cryptocurrency—a stablecoin known as Libra—has been the subject of speculation for years. Now, the cryptocurrency in question has emerged, and brought with it a host of new possibilities, questions, and even speculations to go along with it. Some have even suggested that Libra may ultimately pose a fundamental shift to the way we do business worldwide.
With Libra in place, the foundation is now set for a complete global payments and financial services infrastructure, one that’s wholly built and managed by Facebook. Such a move opens up the world to access what’s known as the “internet of money,” which effectively allows Facebook and Libra to become not only a global currency, but also a global network to trade in that currency, one owned, operated, and managed by Facebook and its related stakeholders.
To support this system, Facebook offered word of another release alongside its Libra cryptocurrency: the Calibra digital wallet system. Calibra won’t go live until the second half of 2020, alongside the full Libra network, but once it does, it will represent a full potential for Facebook to become a greater part of the world’s commercial ecosystem.
The Libra currency was built by not only Facebook, but a complete slate of 28 Founding Members, as they’re known. The Founding Members represent a collection of some of the biggest names in financial operations, marketplaces, and payment systems of all sorts. These Founding Members contribute their experiences in the field, as well as specific information around areas like global operations, payment regulations, financial services networks and more. Of course, they’re not solely around for their expertise, as they will likely be tapped for more tangible resources down the line.
It’s also been noted that some of these Founding Members may be getting in ahead of a serious market disruption that would have potentially displaced their entire industries. If Libra goes as far as it might, some of these players may be completely ejected from the market, and may therefore be establishing their next phases of operation to accommodate a market that has Facebook as a global payments contributor.
Details have emerged around the new system, and present a novel prospect to the wider cryptocurrency community. The Libra ecosystem so far consists of the Libra Blockchain, developed entirely in-house at Facebook to serve as new rails for the operation. With this new blockchain came a completely unique programming language known as Move. Applications programmed in Move are said to not only be more secure than the ordinary—a vital point in any cryptocurrency or payments-related venture—but also more efficient, allowing for easier development and faster time-to-market.
Felix Shipkevich is a principal of Shipkevich PLLC. His practice focuses on providing counsel to FinTech and financial services firms, including financial technology, payments and emerging digital currency space. He has spoken at national panels in the money transmitter space and payments industry. Mr. Shipkevich’s payments practice has brought him into contact with money transmitter registration requirements in all fifty U.S. States.
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