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“Libra”: Facebook draws the weapon of cryptocurrency

The social network wants to reduce its dependence on advertising. It has partnered with 27 other companies to launch this virtual currency in 2020.

It should be “so easy to send money as a photo to someone,” thinks Marc Zuckerberg. The head of Facebook has decided to specify this idea: he will specify on Tuesday, June 18, the profile of his new cryptocurrency project. A way for the company to recover after much controversy and diversify its profits, which represent 98% of advertising.

The Latin “balance” – “balance” – should, like Bitcoin, work on the Blockchain technology. The principle: allow 2,300 million Facebook users to buy products and services and make money transfers on multiple platforms of the social network (Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp). To carry out his project, the firm Menlo Park intends to surround itself well. Already supported by 27 companies, including PayPal, Visa, Booking, Uber and Illiad (parent company of Free, led by Xavier Niel), it expects to attract a hundred companies by the end of 2019. This cryptocurrency in its activities.

We already know that Facebook wants to develop a non-speculative and non-volatile currency, what experts call a “stable corner”, with a fixed exchange rate based on the dollar, the euro, the pound and the yen. The echoes indicate that the currency should not be monetized at launch so that everyone can convert their money in bulk without paying commissions. Ultimately, once the “balance” is well established, David Marcus, a former PayPal leader in charge of the project, and his fifty employees may well decide to launch payment services, in the manner of traditional banks.

The collection of financial data?

The arrival of such a project scares more than one. The social network, already designed for the questionable management of personal data of its users since March 2018 and the case of Cambridge Analytica, will now be enriched with your financial data and consumption habits! “Facebook strives to keep its users in its ecosystem, this new incursion in the banking sector aims to complement the value chain of the data by changing the advertising to the purchase data, which are always against the RGPD. (General Regulation on data protection, Ed) “. He insists that Klorydryk, a member of the association La Quadrature du Net. “Where the operation of bitcoin was based on an auditable code and in the exchange of the chain of blocks between several actors with divergent interests, opaque and subject to the goodwill of some: modification of the evaluation, closure of the service, but also blocking the accounts of political opponents like PayPal, made in time against WikiLeaks at the request of the established power. “

As for the regulation of this very special currency, details have not yet been provided. While Facebook and its partners have consulted central regulators and bankers like the US Federal Reserve. UU., The European Central Bank and the Bank of England, has not yet disclosed any information. We only know that the “Libra” will not be controlled directly by the social network, but by the Swiss foundation Libra, created by Facebook in May.

But the 35-year-old billionaire could be overtaken by his youngest son, Pavel Durov, head of the encrypted telegram messaging application. The Russian project has already mobilized $ 1.7 billion and should officially see the birth of its “gram”, name of the virtual currency, in the coming months.

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