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Facebook announces that its cryptocurrency will launch next year

It will be known as "Libra"

Chesnot/Getty Images

Facebook has announced that its planned cryptocurrency, the Libra, will launch in 2020.

Here's what we know

The Libra will be managed by a new Facebook subsidiary dubbed Calibra.

Facebook, which has had its share of issues with protecting user data on its platform, said in a news release that "[w]hen it launches, Calibra will have strong protections in place to keep your money and your information safe."

Facebook assured potential users that they would "be using all the same verification and anti-fraud processes that banks and credit cards use," and that users would be refunded "if someone fraudulently gains access to your account and you lose some Libra as a result."

Calibra head David Marcus told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday that the company was making "strong commitments on privacy" but acknowledged "[i]f people don't want to trust us, they can use any of the other wallets that will be available."

The Libra will not be managed by Facebook itself. Instead, it will be overseen by a nonprofit known as the Libra Association. In addition to Facebook's Calibra branch, The Libra Association has 29 partners including big name companies like Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Ebay, and Lyft.

In addition to having its own standalone app, Libra would also be available through Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook.

What else?

The company says that "[f]rom the beginning, Calibra will let you send Libra to almost anyone with a smartphone, as easily and instantly as you might send a text message and at low to no cost."

Facebook says that Libra will be a good option for people worldwide for whom "even basic financial services are still out of reach."

One last thing…
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