In August 2019, quietly and without much fanfare, Facebook made an announcement – they introduced their own cybercurrency. Called ‘Libra.’
You may wonder about the name, ‘Libra’ – not only is it the seventh sign of the zodiac, but it is also the name for a unit of weight in ancient Rome, equivalent to 12 ounces. The ‘L’ sign from Libra is still used to represent the British Pound today. Will it be backed by a Pound of sterling silver, though? Probably not. In fact, Facebook wasn’t totally clear on what it will be backed by, saying only “a collection of established financial assets.” Actually, in that respect, it sounds a bit better-backed than the “full faith and trust of your government,” but without knowing what that means, we can’t be sure. What is fairly certain is that Facebook Marketplace has made massive strides in taking market share from the traditional second-hand selling publications and websites that facilitated direct person-to-person transactions and is probably hoping to develop a financial relationship in this way with its users. Depending on how Libra catches on, this could be the start of a major trend.