Facebook’s cryptocurrency Libra takes on bitcoin
Facebook Head of Calibra David Marcus on the social media platform’s new cryptocurrency Libra.
Bitcoin entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss signaled this week that they are ready to move past their lengthy feud with Mark Zuckerberg now that Facebook has launched its own cryptocurrency, Libra.
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After months of rumors, Facebook formally unveiled Libra on Tuesday, as well as a new subsidiary, Calibra, that will oversee its interests in the cryptocurrency. Facebook’s Calibra will sit alongside other 27 investing companies, including Visa, PayPal and MasterCard, on an independent nonprofit called the Libra Association, which will manage the cryptocurrency.
Earlier this year, Facebook was said to have approached the Winklevoss twins and their cryptocurrency exchange, Gemini, about its efforts to develop Libra. While the Winklevoss twins famously sued Zuckerberg for allegedly stealing the idea for Facebook – and won a $65 million settlement – the duo told "CBS This Morning" that some level of cooperation would benefit the broader crypto market.
“They’re so much pie to grow [in the cryptocurrency market], I mean, at this point, we need to be frenemies,” Cameron Winklevoss said.
Facebook’s Libra will be pegged to traditional fiat currencies in order to protect the burgeoning platform from volatility that has plagued bitcoin and other digital coins. Bitcoin’s price surged above $9,000 this week as Facebook prepared to launch Libra, with some viewing the initiative as evidence that cryptocurrencies are gaining mainstream acceptance.
Gemini representatives declined in May to comment on whether the company had engaged in talks with Facebook about its cryptocurrency. The company did not immediately return a request for comment on whether it has any involvement in the platform at present.
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Facebook has billed Libra as a global currency that allows for fast, secure purchases and transfers of money without fees. The social media giant is said to be targeting an aggressive rollout in emerging markets, where Libra could theoretically provide a stable financial services platform for users in regions prone to financial and political instability.
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