The Libra project was first announced by Facebook at the beginning of this year and officially launched on June 18, 2019. Libra is the Libra Network blockchain’s internal cryptocurrency, developed and operated by a Swiss foundation and a consortium of companies led by Facebook. The launch is scheduled for the first half of 2020.
The Facebook coin is a new global cryptocurrency with a low-volatility rate, built on an open-source Libra blockchain with a built-in smart-contract platform and a Proof-of-Stake algorithm called LibraBFT to achieve сonsensus.
Over the next 18 months, Libra will be included in the whole Facebook ecosystem, primarily in key products – FB Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook.com and possibly Instagram. This will allow to cover the entire cumulative audience of projects (almost 2.5 billion users) and involve it in work (transactions) with cryptocurrency assets.
|Consensus Algorithm||LibraBFT (Byzantine Fault-Tolerant Consensus variant of HotStuff protocol)|
|Core / SC Languages||Rust / Move (isn’t fully developed yet)|
|Declared blocks per second||1 block per 10 seconds|
|Declared txs per second||1,000 transactions per second|
|Transaction fees||Expected to be very low|
Validating Libra Transactions
Libra will run on its native blockchain, in which the nodes managed by the consortium members are geographically distributed and meet fairly high technical requirements. The total amount of nodes is restricted to 100 or so, each node contains a full database of Libra Blockchain.
Minimum node requirements:
- 1 commodity CPU
- 16 TB SSD
- 40 Mbps Internet connection
The Libra Association is an autonomous, Swiss-based, non-profit organization with the mission to provide billions of individuals with basic access to financial services globally. The association has two main functions:
- Libra network management and supervision.
- Reserve management to maintain the value of the Libra token.
The Facebook team played a key role in the creation of the Libra Association and the Libra Blockchain, working with the other Founding Members. While final decision-making authority rests within the association, Facebook is expected to maintain a leadership role through 2019.
Libra Founding Partners
Founding members include Mastercard, PayPal, Stripe, Visa, eBay, Facebook, Lyft, Uber, Spotify, Andreessen Horowitz, Vodafone Group, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Women’s World Banking and more.
Each partner in the Libra Association paid a minimum contribution of $10 million to be able to run the node (optionally), the right to vote in the organization itself and earn interest on deposits held in Libra Reserve.
Each member of the association, including Facebook, receives a maximum of 1% of the total number of votes, voting is conducted using Libra Investment Token (LIT).
Libra Investment Token (LIT)
For the regulation purposes, Libra plans to use a token called the Libra Investment Token (LIT), which will allow to vote in the management of the network.
However, there must be a bridge between the blockchain and the real assets that are used to support the Libra token. The blockchain will be managed in a decentralized way using LIT, but the collateral assets held in Libra Reserve will always be in control of Libra Association.
“Using the Founding Member eligibility criteria ensures that the Founding Members are organizations with established reputations, making it unlikely that they would act maliciously, and suggesting that they will apply diligence in defending their validator against outside attacks.”
In general, the Libra network will be “permissioned” at first, but in the long-term it will become “permissionless” after the gradual transition to Proof-of-Stake and the moment when the owners of the nodes get 20% of the votes in the Libra Association.
Calibra – Native Libra Cryptocurrency Wallet
According to the Facebook press release, The Calibra wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app, the launch is also scheduled in 2020.
Good news, Calibra will protect the privacy of the end user and won’t link his transactions with his social accounts. However, all members of the Libra Association will earn interest on each fiat contribution stored in the Libra Reserve.
The Future of Libra
Facebook has seriously taken up the idea of creating a global payment system and in this regard is more like PayPal than Bitcoin. Facebook’s expertise in developing applications and mobile UX/UI inspires confidence in the success of the application at the global level.
The huge audience and support of the largest businesses, in theory, will lead to a rapid increase in the popularity of Libra as a global payment instrument for daily use.
Let’s see if Facebook succeeds. In the meantime, you can read the roadmap Libra for the nearest future.