Kevin Weil, the vice president of Facebook’s subsidiary Calibra, has revealed the best time to launch the Libra cryptocurrency was three years ago, before the 2017 bull run.
Speaking at the Altice Arena in Lisbon, during the Web Summit, Weil emphasized Libra will only be launched once it’s approved by regulators, but noted the “best time to launch Libra was three years ago,” with now being the second-best time.
Weil noted that he started thinking about Facebook getting into the cryptocurrency space after a friend joined a cryptocurrency fund. He noted that he wasn’t initially a fan of bitcoin, but became one in 2015 and 2016.
He compared modern financial services to communications before the internet. Per his words, 30 years ago people sent text messages to only those under the same telecoms provider, and sending messages to people in other countries was extremely expensive.
Then, he said, the internet came along and “suddenly we have a decentralize infrastructure, where the cost of sending something to someone else is close to zero.” Weil added Libra is trying to do for money what the internet did for communications.
What is motivating us is whether we can do for money what the Internet has done for information. It is very expensive to be poor. The question was, what if we could move this to a system that decentralized infrastructure and could send value across the world?
Calibra’s vice president further emphasized no single entity should run Libra, and as such the Libra Association was born. Calibra itself is creating a wallet for the cryptocurrency, to let users store their funds where they’re safe and easily accessible.
The Libra Infrastructure
Libra’s use cases will revolve around sending money to friends and family and slashing remittance fees. As people are already chatting via social media platforms like WhatsApp, it’s convenient to also send money through them, Weil added.
Nevertheless, he said Calibra is trying to “guarantee it’ll be good for businesses.” Around 18 months ago, he noted, Libra was already an idea being cooked up. He added:
We are committed to make Calibra a product built on Libra’s infrastructure. I think Internet analogies are good. Take your favorite digital wallet, Paypal, Venmo, whatever. None of this works together. This is not the way the world should work. Libra will work like email. We should not decide which email service to use before sending money.
Weil then addressed those who don’t feel comfortable sharing data with Facebook, saying Libra’s financial data will be separate from the data collected by the social media giant. Even if a user chooses not to use Calibra, he said, he’ll still be able to receive Libra tokens.
Featured image via Unsplash.