After nearly a year of speculation, Facebook has finally unveiled its plans to create a cryptocurrency, which will be called Libra and debut in 2020. The company also announced Calibra, a new subsidiary that will build a digital wallet for Messenger, WhatsApp, and a standalone app on iOS and Android.
Libra will be managed by a separate Switzerland-based foundation, initially backed by Facebook and 27 other organizations. With more than two billion users, Facebook is arguably better positioned to roll out a global digital currency than any other company or government. Thus, while expected, this represents a big endorsement for cryptocurrency and the underlying technology of blockchain. “Libra holds the potential to provide billions of people around the world with access to a more inclusive, more open financial ecosystem. We look forward to participating in the Libra network as a founding member, as well as through providing our community with access to Libra through Calibra,” said Calibra head David Marcus in a statement. “We know the journey is just beginning, but together we can achieve Libra’s mission to create a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that will empower billions of people.”