Facebook announces Calibra, a financial services subsidiary for Libra cryptocurrency

Libra, the cryptocurrency, is similar to bitcoin.

June 18, 2019, 7:01 AM

Facebook announced on Tuesday plans to unveil in 2020 a subsidiary called Calibra, which will allow access to Libra, a new digital currency.

Calibra will work in concert with Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, and as a standalone app, Facebook announced in a blog post.

"Libra holds the potential to provide billions of people around the world with access to a more inclusive, more open financial ecosystem," said David Marcus, head of Calibra for Facebook.

The currency is designed to reach adults globally who have no access to a traditional bank but do have a mobile phone.

Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin allow users to buy and sell digital units of currency independent of a central bank, with little to no transaction costs. Libra is designed to work with Calibra as a place to save, send and spend Libra.

PHOTO: Calibra, which will provide financial services for the Libra network, is expected in 2020.
Calibra, which will provide financial services for the Libra network, is expected in 2020.
Libra Press

The app interface for Calibra looks similar to existing mobile banking apps.

Libra is built on a secure, scalable and reliable blockchain network governed by the independent Libra association, according to Facebook.

The Libra association is a group of organizations from diverse sectors including payments, telecommunications, nonprofits and more. Members include Mastercard, PayPal, Vodaphone Group and Spotify.

Calibra won't share account information or financial data with Facebook, Inc., or any third party without customer consent, according to the statement released on Tuesday.

Libra Blockchain begins Tuesday in an open-source test, but it's expected to be launched in 2020 alongside Calibra.

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