Facebook Unveils Digital Wallet Service ‘Calibra’

Written by:

Muskan Bagrecha

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Facebook has left no stone unturned to make the most awaited crypto project, Libra, a success. The company officially announced a digital wallet service namely Calibra to take off in 2020.

Calibra is a subsidiary of Facebook that will help loop people into the Libra network and would perhaps serve as a stream to generate more revenue along the course of usage. Its immediate goal is to provide financial services throughout the world. And being backed by Facebook’s wide ecosystem, this does not seem very ambitious.

Calibra is registered with the U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency formed to combat domestic and international money laundering and other financial crimes. The digital wallet will be available on Messenger, WhatsApp and will come as a standalone iOS and Android app.

A sneak peek of Facebook's Calibra

Source – Facebook

Kevin Weil, the Vice President of product at Calibra, described dual primary functions of the wallet, that is, ensuring money is held securely for free and establishing money transfer almost as quick as a photo click at costs lower than the average international money transfer rates.

He told The Verge:

For us, WhatsApp and Messenger are great homes for Libra. A couple billion people use them. But it’s not just that they use them, but how they use them,

Messenger is to talk to close friends and family, and those are exactly the types of people you send money to. There’s a lot of overlap between the things you want out of a wallet for currency and the things you want out of a messaging app.

Although Libra is backed by some major payment processing companies like Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal, Weil said that this transfer feature requires a credit card or a bank account, a financial commodity not available to about 1.7 billion people. Calibra comes as a savior to these people as all they require is a cheap smartphone to transfer money.

Weil said that the real goal was focused on achieving a vibrant economy to be built on top of Libra, perhaps by Facebook or any other company. This would be a key factor in magnifying adoption and creating a revolution in the true sense. He said that people who would have had used only hard cash will suddenly be seen accessing digital currency on their smartphones. He added that Calibra could be successful only if the Libra network really emerged victorious.

Not long ago, Facebook was involved in one of the biggest security breaches which ended up exposing about 50 million users’ information. However, Facebook claims to have taken firm steps to keep the money safe and ensure privacy protection for the new project. Users will have to go through the same series of verification and anti-fraud processes as those adopted by banks. The report claims that if a user’s account gets hacked, Facebook will claim responsibility and provide a refund for the Libra lost. Besides this, the user data will only be accessed to a certain limit which will, in turn, be used to secure the accounts and prevent criminal activities.

Facebook has about 2.38 billion monthly active users. This wide database comes with a rather detailed information pool. It has the potential to give birth to the largest platform not only in the crypto industry but the entire financial space. David Marcus, former head of Facebook Messenger, said that the idea of decentralization when combined with the rightful digital commerce and Facebook’s enormous user base forms the infrastructure to support the cryptocurrency to skyrocket.

Meanwhile, US Rep. Maxine Waters, Chairwoman of the United States House Committee on Financial Services has called for a moratorium on Libra development until the Congress and other regulatory bodies review the project and its potential implications.

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