Facebook's Libra Prepared To Counter Privacy Concerns

Banks have to rethink their products as Facebook launches Libra
Friday June 21 2019

Banks have to rethink their products as Facebook launches Libra Friday June 21 2019

Wall Street loved the idea of Facebook's new digital currency, Libra, as the stock price soared in anticipation of Tuesday's announcement.

Skepticism of what might be described as "Facebank" is high.

The apex bank, in its April 6 circular, had said that "entities regulated by the Reserve Bank shall not deal in VCs (virtual currencies) or provide services for facilitating any person or entity in dealing with or settling VCs".

Some people may be giving Facebook, which this year suffered a corporation-wide 14-hour outage, too much credit.

Libra's value will fluctuate according to the movement of these assets.

Facebook, on the other hand, has said that the company looks forward to answering any questions/concerns that Congress has against Libra. "We understand we will have to earn your trust".

Libra's blockchain presently exists as an open-source prototype called Libra Core. WhatsApp has over 400 million users in India, while Facebook has over 300 million users, according to Statista.

The company hopes Libra will not only power transactions between customers and businesses, but offer unbanked consumers access to financial services for the first time.

Special prosecutor appointed in Smollett probe to investigate dropped charges
Actor Jussie Smollett leaves court after charges against him were dropped by state prosecutors in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. If the office is unwilling to take the case, the request would then go to county prosecutors' offices around the state.

Yes, Facebook really is promising privacy, "aside from limited cases".

Facebook created a separate company, called Calibra, to operate the Calibra wallet system.

Although the head of the Federal Reserve of the U.S. in his speech has told that Facebook has consulted regulators before commencing the project, the regulators from other countries have also expressed their doubts about the project. And there's no assurance segregated data can not be combined. It also said it won't share financial data with Facebook, though there are exceptions that haven't been fully spelled out, including situations where data sharing would "keep people safe". This most awaited project of Facebook is going to face inspection from the Senate of Banking of the US.

Still, she said, people could be alarmed because of Facebook's use of data in the past. India, on the other hand, is moving to put a complete ban on the trade and use of cryptocurrencies with a prison sentence of up to 10 years to anyone who breaks it.

"If Facebook were to design the Libra to be a closed system, only to be transacted on its network and not beyond, RBI should ideally be less concerned, since the coin does not engage with the external economy", said Anirudh Rastogi, founder, Ikigai Law, a technology-focused law firm.

"I am shocked they have chose to go ahead", he said.

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