Libra is the name of a new cryptocurrency that's been announced by Facebook but is actually being supported by the Libra Association, a non-profit group of 28 companies that plan to back the currency. Libra is built using the blockchain, and the Libra Association says that because Libra is backed by a reserve of real assets, its value will remain relatively stable over time.
"Libra's mission is to create a simple global financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people around the world," says Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "Being able to use mobile money can have an important positive impact on people's lives because you don't have to always carry cash, which can be insecure, or pay extra fees for transfers. This is especially important for people who don't have access to traditional banks or financial services."
Libra is expected to launch in 2020. Until then, you can read the Libra white paper right here.
In addition to backing the new cryptocurrency, Facebook has announced a subsidiary named Calibra that will launch a new digital wallet for Libra. You'll be able to save, send, and spend Libra using this Calibra digital wallet, and the goal is to offer Calibra in apps like Messenger and WhatsApp as well as its own standalone app.
To start, Calibra will let you send Libra currency to "almost anyone with a smartphone". The experience is said to be like sending a text message, and it'll have "low to no cost". Facebook hopes to expand Calibra's functionality in the future, letting you do things like paying bills, buying products, and riding public transit.
Like Libra, the Calibra digital wallet is expected to arrive sometime in 2020.