The power of the names involved in Libra, as well as the scope of the project, are serious business. Its initiator is the largest social network in the world. Its partners include some of the world's largest finance, technology, cryptography and retail companies. It will be integrated with some of the most popular apps in the world.
Last week, I had several meetings with Facebook executives and experts involved in the project and I read more than a dozen documents describing various aspects of it. Libra is still in its infancy and many details are unknown. some will probably remain unknown until the first half of 2020, when the project is to be officially launched. But here's a complete overview of what we know right now.
With BalanceFacebook renews its old dream of building a payment network; the company tried in 2015 with Messenger Payments, but the feature, which allows users to send and receive money, never goes away.
We are in 2019 and the times are very different. Crypto-currencies such as Bitcoin have shown that it was possible to create a digital network and a decentralized secure network of equals, and that everyone could use it. Ethereum used the same underlying technology, the blockchain, to create a platform of decentralized applications. And stable pieces, such as DAI, USDC and TUSD, have shown that it is possible to create a cryptocurrency whose value is not as volatile like bitcoins value and ether.
With all these elements in place, Facebook is trying to transfer money, but this time, with a system incorporating some of the best assets of the crypto-currencies available today, as well as a small army of partners responsible for providing support and promoting adoption.
January 2018 was perhaps the first serious sign that Facebook was preparing something in the blockchain space. In a seemingly out of character move, CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke on the power of decentralized networks.
"Encryption and cryptocurrency (…) take the power of centralized systems and put it back in the hands of people," he said. "But they run the risk of being more difficult to control.I am interested in deepening and studying the positive and negative aspects of these technologies and the best way to use them in our services."
In May 2018, things became serious. Facebook reassigned David Marcus, formerly at the head of Messenger, ran an internal blockchain project. This has led to many reports on the size and scope of The Facebook blockchain effort, although Marcus and – subsequently – Facebook, insisted that the team is small.
"I'm setting up a small group to explore the best way to take advantage of Blockchain on Facebook, starting from scratch," Marcus said at the time.
After that, rumors intensified. and details of the Balance project, as it would have been called internally, began to take shape (the nickname of Libra mentioned in these reports remained, but "GlobalCoin"seems to have been abandoned." Facebook has continued to add people to its "small" blockchain team; in February 2019, the company acquired the main responsible for starting crypto. Chainspace. According to the official rumor, Facebook's blockchain team "was exploring many different apps", but even then, the plans for Libra – which turned out to be a not-so-small project after all – had to be well advanced.
Now that Libra has been officially announced, let's dispel an inevitable confusion. Libra has several characteristics: the Balance Blockchain, the Libra Balance and the Balance Association.
The Libra Association is a non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland, which governs Libra. It is run by founding members, including Facebook, but the social network has no particular preference in decision-making.
The Libra Blockchain is a new type of blockchain, designed primarily to support the Libra cryptocurrency, but which also allows anyone to create smart contracts, like Ethereum.
The Libra coin is a special type of cryptocurrency, a stablecoin, which means its value should not change much in comparison to a stable real-world asset like the United States. dollar. It is backed by fiduciary money and the current equivalents held by depositories chosen by the Libra association.
Finally, Calibra is a cryptocurrency wallet that allows users to send and receive Libra coins. Unlike the three projects above, Calibra is built and maintained by Facebook and will be integrated with WhatsApp and Messenger.
Facebook and its 2.38 billion monthly active users, associated with the 1.5 billion users of WhatsApp, should provide a good base user base for Libra. But history has shown that sometimes a giant like Facebook is not enough to promote adoption by users. Facebook, for example, is associated with many businesses in the financial and retail sectors, as well as non-profit organizations, to promote user adoption and usually makes Libra less a Facebook project but more a global project.
Here is the complete list of the founding members of the Libra association at its launch: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU, Stripe, Visa, Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook, Farfetch, Lyft, Payment Marketplace, Spotify, Uber, Iliad , Vodafone, Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Xapo, Andreessen Horowitz, Innovative Initiatives, Capital Ribbit, Capital Thrive, Union Square Ventures, Creative Destruction Laboratory, Kiva, Mercy Corps and Women's World Banking.
The list deserves to be browsed. The equation of payments is solid, with MasterCard, Visa and PayPal on board – but not a big bank. On the retail / technology side, the participation of Uber and Spotify will certainly lead to adoption, and the e-commerce giant eBay is also here. Remember the rumors about eBay accepts cryptocurrency? Well, it's happening. It should be noted that Amazon is not on board at the moment, nor Apple, Microsoft or Google.
It is also remarkable that, intentionally or not, there are some big partners on the blockchain side. Yes, Coinbase is one of the world's largest cryptocurrency markets, but there is no mention of blockchain corporations and foundations such as the Ethereum Foundation, EOS, Ripple and others.
I interviewed Tomer Barel, vice president of operations at Calibra, about it. He said that the Libra Association was willing to accept more members in the future and that there was no direct obstacle to the accession of one of these, even though he noticed that Libra is an entirely new blockchain product and as such different (although to some extent, interoperable) from other blockchain projects.
The blockchain Libra is a new blockchain, based on (strongly modified, said Barel) HotStuff protocol, launched a few months ago by VmWare. It will take many experts to go through his white paper and code (which will be published today and I have not seen it) until we have an objective idea of its strengths and its weaknesses compared to other blockchain projects. But here are some things to remember.
The Libra will start as a permission blockchain, then move slowly through a blockchain without permission.
This is very important: Bitcoin and Ethereum are networks without permissionwhich means that everyone can participate and run on a node, thus becoming part of the infrastructure of the blockchain. But on Libra, initially, only a small list of approved companies and organizations will be able to run. In simple terms, this means that it will be easier to make the Balance scalable (Barel told me that the goal is to have thousands of transactions per second), but that this will not be exactly a fully decentralized project at launch.
From the White Paper of Libra:
"The Libra Blockchain will be decentralized and will consist of a collection of validators who work together to process the transactions and maintain the blockchain status. (…) Initially, the association (and validators) will consist of a diverse and geographically distributed group of founding members, who are organizations chosen on the basis of objective participation criteria, and who have an interest in strengthening the Libra ecosystem and investing resources for its success. "
The timetable for turning Libra into a chain of blocks without permission is quite generous: the association plans to launch the process "within five years" following the launch of Libra.
Libra will be an intelligent contractual platform
Like Ethereum, Libra will allow third-party developers to create decentralized applications over their blockchain. However, unlike Ethereum, which is a versatile decentralized intelligent contract platform, Libra will have a strong predilection for financial applications.
Balance comes with a new programming language called Move
Move is a new language, which means that developers will have to adapt to a new programming environment. Facebook says that it is designed with "safety and security as absolute priorities".
Libra is an advanced blockchain
In the world of blockchain technologies, it is difficult to find two experts who agree on the type of blockchain that works best. But one thing is certain: Libra is not an obsolete technological element. It uses several advanced techniques and solutions, such as using Merkle trees to store the full registry history, and a fault-tolerant Byzantine consensus model (which means that it resists one-third of network nodes that are faulty or dishonest), as in the modern world. proposals such as Casper and Tendermint.
Fully evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of the technical solutions of the Libra goes both beyond the scope of this text and the capabilities of its author, but, again, I am sure that the experts will have their say in the weeks and months to come.
Libra is not a proof of work
Unlike Bitcoin, which in its current state requires immense computing power, Libra does not use a consensus algorithm for proof of work. This means that Libra does not waste huge amounts of energy.
Libra is pseudonym
Just like Bitcoin and Ethereum, Libra does not link network accounts to a real identity.
Libra is open source
Everyone can look in the code of Libra.
The currency is a stable type of currency, but it differs from most stable coins currently available on the market. Instead of closely monitoring the value of a real asset, such as the US dollar, Libra will have its own value. However, it will be supported by a basket of "low volatility" assets to ensure its stability.
Even if it is designed to be stable, the value of the Balance will fluctuate. If you buy a $ 100 balance today, its value might be slightly different in the future. According to a document that Facebook has sent me, "reserve assets are chosen so as to minimize volatility, so that Libyan holders can trust the currency's ability to preserve its value over time. ".
Sending and receiving Libra will be very inexpensive (or nonexistent), although the details on the price are unclear. So how are the entities going to hold the balance assets of Libra to make money? One word: interest. According to a document that Facebook has sent me, "interest on reserve assets will be used to cover the costs of the system, to guarantee minimal transaction costs, to pay dividends to investors who have provided capital to revive Ecosystem and support growth and adoption. " Note that Balance users will not receive a return from the pool.
The Libra Association will be the guardian of Libra and the only entity able to burn or hit the Libra currency. And this will be done in response to market demand. With the increase in demand for Libra, more Libra will be issued and the supply will increase – and vice versa.
For most users, Libra will be largely attributed to Calibra, the wallet created by Facebook that allows you to send and receive Libra currency. It will be integrated with WhatsApp and Messenger, allowing users of these applications to register easily, reload their portfolios with funds and send, receive and pay with Libra (with "small" transaction fees), all from the applications. Calibra will also be available as a stand-alone application for iOS and Android.
Registration at Calibra will require a verification from KYC (know your client), which means that users will need to download some kind of government issued identifier before they can start using the service. Kevin Weil, vice president of products for Calibra, said the process of integration would be as simple as possible, "almost like a discussion."
Reloading funds should be as simple as typing credit card information. For unbanked people, in certain areas, it will be possible to go to physical places where they can refuel by handing money.
Regarding confidentiality, Facebook claims that Calibra "will not share account information with Financial, Facebook or any other third party without the consent of the customer".
In terms of security, Calibra will have built-in anti-fraud protection, a password recovery option and multifactor authentication. A characteristic of Calibra is that cryptocurrency portfolios will not benefit from 24×7 customer support.
Important: Due to the open nature of Libra, Calibra will not be the only Libra wallet that you can use. In fact, it should be quite possible to sign up for Calibra, fill it with money, and then move the books you received using a third party portfolio that has no connection with Calibra and the outside. of the Facebook ecosystem.
More information on Calibra is available at the following address: calibra.com; You can also sign up to receive notification when the portfolio becomes available.
Creating new forms of money and letting billions of users send it around the world is not as easy as building a platform: there are rules and regulations that vary from jurisdiction to another.
I asked Weil questions about the potential problems, and about the fact that Calibra will be a fully regulated entity and that Facebook is already discussing with regulators around the world and is applying for licenses to make it fully compliant . With the law Even though the entire project is envisioned as a global project, Weil has said that Calibra "would only work where it is legally allowed".
The blockchain and the Libra coin, as well as Facebook's Calibra digital wallet, are still not ready for public use. Facebook indicates that it intends to embark on the first half of 2020. However, the "Start Cycle Code" for Libra Blockchain will be open today, and Libra is pleased with the comments community on the project.
As for Calibra, Kevin Weil said that Facebook still had "a lot of work to do" before Calibra could be made public.
Libra is one of the most ambitious cryptocurrency projects ever conceived. It includes a blockchain, an intelligent contract platform, a low volatility cryptocurrency and a portfolio that will be integrated with some of the most used applications today.
Many questions remain: Facebook has not exactly had a stellar privacy record in the last two years Society seems to have done a lot to make Libra a common, open and global effort. Still, the public and regulators will want to know if Libra and Calibra are opening new avenues for misuse of user data.
There is also the question of technical execution. Balance and Calibra are at an early stage of development and unforeseen obstacles may arise.
Nevertheless, Libra is a large-scale project, backed by a long list of hitters in the areas of payments and online retailing. Companies such as PayPal, eBay, Mastercard and Visa have so far hesitated to openly adopt cryptocurrencies. This is changing today and it is a big problem – both for the companies involved and for crypto-currencies in general.
(tagsToTranslate) facebook (t) book (t) crypto-currency (t) project-book (t) technology (t) big-tech-companies (t) cryptocurrency-blockchain</pre></pre>
In one Monday morning interview on CNBC Squawk BoxTrump addressed a wide range of topics, with a particular focus on its tariff-based trade with China. But towards the end of the interview, the president provided us with nuggets about big tech companies such as Facebook and Huawei.
To start the debate, Trump resurrected the view that advanced technology is biased against him.
"People are talking about collusion, the real collusion is between the Democrats and these companies," Trump told a question about possible antitrust actions against Facebook, Amazon and Google. "They were against me in my race, everyone said," If you do not have them, you can not win. "Well I won, you know, and I will win again."
The anti-right bias has been a topic of debate in recent years, with Trump specifically calling on Twitter and Google to assume the removal of pro-Trump content. Last year, I claimed to the loss of Twitter followers Anti-Trump bias proved on the platform, even thought that the same phenomenon has done more damage to the number of followers of Barack Obama.
The president also accused Google of falsifying search results for the benefit of the left on similarly fragile premises. Google has deny thatall in Twitter admitted Trump is actually much longer than Twitter's average users.
Later in the interview, Trump addressed antitrust concerns with big tech companies such as Facebook and Amazon. Trump called on the European Union to "attack our businesses" via end of billions of dollars for anti-competitive practices.
However, I also think that they think that technology companies may be too big.
"They think that there is a monopoly, but I'm not sure that they really think it.They calculate this easy money," Trump said about EU practices. "I think it's a bad situation, but obviously there's something going on in terms of monopoly."
Finally, Trump closed his technical comments with some thoughts on Huawei and China in general. The Trump administration narrow Huawei's ability to do business in the United States earlier this year due to alleged national security concerns. Consequently, Google revoked the company's Android license for its range of smartphones.
Huawei has finally obtained temporary relief from the ban by the government, but Trump still sees it as a potential problem. He also sees this as a currency of exchange in his trade war with China.
"I see it as a threat," said Trump. "At the same time, it would be nice if we did something about Huawei in our trade negotiations with China."
Finally, Trump asked a question about the growing 5G mobile phone market in the United States. as an opportunity to claim the United States technological superiority over China.
"China, as great as it is, is great, they do not have the ability of our Silicon Valley geniuses to walk around in underwear and their value is $ 2 billion each," he said. Trump. "They do not have nearly the genius that these people have."
(tagsToTranslate) facebook (t) google (t) amazon (t) donald-trump (t) huawei (t) tech (t) politics (t) big-tech-companies</pre></pre>
div id=””>All the noise around the video "drunk Pelosi" has highlighted something clear: Facebook wants to have both.
Some members of society would have us believe that the platform is fighting against the misleading content of "false information". But Facebook will not want to remove elements such as the clip perni Pelosi, preferring to let users choose themselves what to believe.
That's what comes out of the comments from Monika Bickert, head of Global Policy Management at Facebook, in an interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.
"We think it's important for people to make their own informed choices about what to believe," she said. Facebook collaborates with independent fact-checking organizations to identify misleading content and report accordingly. So, the company knows what is wrong. This simply does not remove this content.
That 's what happened with a video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was falsified to give the impression that she was drunk or d & # 39; another altered way. The fact checkers have reported it as "false", a designation that gives the video a captioned warning and a reduced presence in News Feeds.
The video will not be completely deleted as it does not violate community standards. Facebook will actively remove this content that encourages violence and breaks the rules. The company has also shown a willingness prohibit false accounts and distort problematic figures who repeatedly violate the rules of the site.
blockquote class=”pull-quotes” data-fragment=”we-think-its-important” data-description=””We think it’s important for people to make their own, informed choice about what to believe.”” data-micro=”1″>"We think it's important that people make their own choices knowingly what to believe on."
In CNN's interview, Cooper again and again asks Bickert why Facebook would not simply delete content that was marked as fake. She comes back again and again to this idea of letting users decide for themselves what to trust. Deceptive content is reported as such, and that is supposed to be enough.
Is it good? There is evidence Even reported and demoted content can have a significant impact on Facebook. It may be because some people have worked hard to promote the message that the media set is an enemy that should not be trusted. People believe that they want to believe in the current climate, to the point that deceptive content could be read positively by some readers and belief systems.
Cooper tries to answer this question in his interview with Bickert, pointing out that "video is more powerful than anything you put under the video". Bickert deviates, suggesting that the video is acceptable to keep because the conversation around her has shifted to questions like the one Cooper has posed.
"In fact, we see this conversation on Facebook, Twitter and offline as well, about the manipulation of this video," she said. "As evidenced by my appearance today, here is the conversation."
Later in the segment, Cooper insists on Bickert's responsibility regarding Facebook's accuracy as an information provider. She pushes back, pointing out that the company is a social media company, not a news company. When Cooper presses it again – "you share news … because you're making money out of it," he argues – Bickert draws a dividing line between violent content violating rules and political speech .
"If false information is security-related, we can delete it and we delete it, we work with security groups to do it, but when we talk about political discourse and misinformation, we think that good approach is to let people make an informed choice, "she said.
What an amazing thing to do when you are barely a month away from the exit of the Mueller report of nearly 500 pages, about half of which focuses on Russia's efforts to influence the US 2016 program. Presidential Election As we now know, much of this effort has involved exploiting social media platforms such as than Facebook.
It is now proven that political misinformation can have detrimental effects. Proven without the shadow of a doubt. It's great to see Facebook taking action against the kinds of fake accounts that help spread the bad stuff, but it's only half a measure. Many real people are trapped in the misinformation on the Internet that they share on social media.
This is not the first time that Facebook is relying on a policy to defend the presence of inappropriate content on the platform. But it's a more and more difficult pill to swallow because suspicions regarding the negative impact of misinformation on political discourse have proven accurate again and again. Maybe the time has come for Facebook to change channels.
. (tagsToTranslate) facebook (t) anderson-cooper (t) fake news (t) tech (t) social media companies</pre></pre>
There are different ways to open two different Facebook accounts on the PC. One of them is to open each one of them. in another browser. In this way, the browser itself will not recognize our session and we can open a Facebook account in one and the other in the other browser. However, if we want to have two different Facebook accounts open at the same time and in the same browser, so we have two options.
One of them is to log in with an account in normal mode then open a new window of the same browser in Private browsing mode. This mode makes the session that we opened in normal mode does not influence so that we can open a different Facebook account in another window in private browsing mode.
But if we want to have two different Facebook accounts open at the same time in the same browser windowwe must then use a third party tool. In this case, some extensions or add-ons allow us to easily have two accounts or open instances of our Facebook accounts in the same browser window.
If you use the Google browser, SessionBox is an extension that we can add to Chrome from the Chrome Web Store and that allows us to have Two Facebook sessions open at the same time in the same window. For those who use Mozilla Firefox as the default browser, they can use Firefox multi-account containers, an add-in that allows you to log in to different accounts in the same window.
For this, it opens different containers, which will only access cookies defined in the container itself, which allows us to separate sessions and keep two Facebook accounts open at the same time in Firefox.
If you use Mark Zuckerberg's social network from his mobile, it's important to know that we can also have two different Facebook accounts open simultaneously on our smartphone. For that, it is enough to have installed the official Facebook application on our device associated with one of the accounts and open the social network site from the browser and sign in with another account. In this way, we can easily manage two Facebook accounts simultaneously on the mobile.
It goes without saying that if several browsers are installed on the mobile, as on the PC, we can also keep two different Facebook accounts open simultaneously, each in a browser.
But there is also another way to simultaneously open two Facebook profiles on our mobile, using the app. Facebook Lite. An app that, as its name suggests, is pretty light, occupies only 5 MB and also consumes far fewer resources than the official Facebook app. We can install Facebook Lite from this same link to the Google Play Store and once installed, you can login with a social network account in the official application and with another in Facebook Lite.
The author Ben Mezrich claims that Facebook's CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, hacked one of Cameron Winklevoss's social media accounts and created a fake account, filling it with xenophobic and racist material. Read more …