Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency will launch in the first half of 2020

'Sell Bitcoin... buy Libra' – should you invest in Facebook's new digital currency?

"Calibra will use Facebook data to comply with the law, secure customers' accounts, mitigate risk, and prevent criminal activity", the company said.

"With the announcement that it plans to create a cryptocurrency, Facebook is continuing its unchecked expansion and extending its reach into the lives of its users", Waters said in a statement. It is created to be a stable coin that will run on the blockchain secured by over 100 distributed computer servers worldwide, which will allow users to send money to each other for little to zero fees.

Alex Norstrom, chief premium business officer of Spotify, said the new currency will remove barriers in financially underserved markets. If Facebook is successful in rolling out Libra, they might have the power to become a "shadow bank" as expressed by Ferber.

The nonprofit Libra Association based in Geneva will oversee the blockchain-based coin, maintaining a real-world asset reserve to keep its value stable.

Facebook's coin, Libra attempts to be a transaction method across Whatsapp, Instagram, Facebook and other Facebook's partners such as Uber and MasterCard.

Users will be able to make transactions with Libra by 2020, Facebook says, both through a standalone app called Calibra as well as with Facebook's own family of apps.

Representative Maxine Waters, chairwoman of the US House Financial Services Committee, called for Facebook executives to testify before Congress and asked the company to halt development of Libra until lawmakers and regulators have reviewed the project.

"Access to financial services is limited or restricted for those who need it most-those impacted by cost, reliability, and the ability to seamlessly send money", the Libra white paper argues. France's finance minister said he had asked central bank heads from G7 countries to write a report on the project by mid-July.

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Without divulging any details about the members of Libra Association, Facebook said they include "geographically distributed and diverse" businesses and academic institutions.

And Bank of America: "With more than 2.5 billion users, Facebook and its partners could be a significant endorsement of cryptocurrency and a notable addition to the Facebook app ecosystem".

"Freedom, justice and money, which is exactly what we're trying to do here", Marcus said in an interview. Those issues have led some government officials to call for Facebook to incur penalties or be forcibly broken up.

Industry group Payments New Zealand declined to make any comment on the Libra idea.

Cryptocurrencies are largely unregulated and investors have lost hundreds of millions through hacks, while the market faces money-laundering and terrorist financing allegations.

David Marcus, who is heading Facebook's cryptocurrency operation, tweeted on Tuesday that Libra is in part aimed at "the 1.7 billion people who are still unbanked 30 years after the invention of the web".

Financial information at Calibra will be kept strictly separate from social data at Facebook and won't be used to target ads, Calibra vice president of product Kevin Weil told AFP.

Because Libra is "user-friendly", Chapple continued, it won't require the specialized software or technical savvy requited to purchase cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

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