Commentary

By Tom,

Ever heard of Libra?

When it comes to cryptocurrency, chances are you’re familiar with Bitcoin… and that’s probably about it! Cryptocurrency is simply a digital asset that runs on what has been dubbed ‘the blockchain’, a way of keeping records and exchanging data in a decentralised and open manner, a way of working that is supposedly incorruptible.

Introducing Libra

Earlier this year, Facebook announced its own cryptocurrency called Libra, the aim being for it to become an international currency for billions of people – particularly those in developing nations who may not have access to financial services or banks.

It will be governed by the Libra Association, made up of 28 members including PayPal, Uber, Visa, Spotify, Facebook subsidiary Calibra.

According to Wired, however, Libra isn’t strictly a cryptocurrency because its blockchain isn’t decentralised in the way that Bitcoin is. And some are concerned that Libra will be controlled by a group of huge corporations. Other concerns include the fact the Libra Association may not be able to handle it if a government orders it to block a transaction.

Can Facebook be trusted?

“Libra doesn’t launch until 2020 but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t already fretting about the whole affair. Facebook has promised that it won’t use payment data in order to target adverts – but people don’t trust Facebook, for notorious reasons,” it was observed.

A joint statement was issued earlier this month (August) by data protection chiefs from all over the world, sharing concerns about Facebook and Calibra with regards to privacy, saying that the company has failed to “specifically address the information handling practices that will be in place to secure and protect personal information”.

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