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Facebook to 'print even more money' with Libra cryptocurrency, Citi says

Facebook’s (FB) hotly anticipated cryptocurrency project is an initiative with vast potential that stand to turn the social network into a company that “prints even more money,” analysts at Citibank said on Tuesday.

Calibra, Facebook’s crypto app that supports Libra and is expected to arrive in 2020, will feature an array of applications.

Citi acknowledged the regulatory and market uncertainties surrounding the project, especially given growing sensitivities around Facebook’s data privacy and dominance in the technology sector.

Yet the bank hailed the new crypto unit as potentially “one of the most well organized efforts by a global consumer tech company yet”—and something that has a number of uses.

Highlighted aspects are person to person money transfers, as well as merchant shopping, which may includes Instagram Shopping and Facebook Marketplace.

“Libra will also be an important test for how well Facebook has been able to (or will be able to) overcome the recent questions about its trustworthiness,” Citi stated.

“Some have voiced concern about potential national sovereignty pushback and regulatory scrutiny within some countries,” the bank added.

Big names jump on Libra train

Libra has added backings from a series of prestigious firms in all sorts of different industries, and Citibank noted that Facebook has put a number of its most talented members on the team.

Some of the most notable firms are Uber (UBER), Lyft (LYFT), PayPal (PYPL) and Ebay (EBAY). Facebook will be receiving at least a $10 million investment from each of these firms and its other investors (Booking (BKNG), Spotify (SPOT), Visa (V), MasterCard (MA), Stripe, Coinbase and Vodafone, etc.) to gain access to the Libra node.

The report also suggests that Facebook aims for 100 companies to contribute a combined $1 billion for the project.

“We expect that initial implementation of Libra within Facebook to potentially center around its messaging apps and its users in developing countries,” Citi’s analysts wrote.

The Libra currency and its blockchain will be managed by a Geneva based Libra Association and will be backed by the Libra reserve—a reserve of hard assets— provides stability and global acceptance.

“Libra will be a “stablecoin,” and its value will be tied to a basket of fiat currencies (managed by the Libra Reserve) to minimize volatility,” wrote the analysts — although there are concerns about user confusion/adoption.

Donovan Russo is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @Donovanxrusso.

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