Learn about Libra
Libra's mission is to create a simple, borderless currency and financial infrastructure that serves billions of people.
This white paper outlines our efforts to create a new decentralized blockchain, a low-volatility cryptocurrency and a smart contract platform to create new opportunities for responsible financial services innovation.
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The birth of the Internet and mobile broadband has enabled billions of people around the world to access knowledge and information from around the world, enjoy high-fidelity communications, and a variety of lower-cost, more convenient services. Today, you can use these services in almost every corner of the world with just a $40 smartphone. This interconnected convenience allows more people to enter the financial ecosystem and thus promote economic empowerment. Through joint efforts, technology companies and financial institutions have also developed solutions that help empower the global economy. Despite these advances, there are still many people in the world who are free. There are still 1.7 billion adults in the world who are not exposed to the financial system and cannot enjoy the financial services provided by traditional banks. Among them, 1 billion people have mobile phones and nearly 500 million people have access to the Internet.
For many people, some aspects of the financial system are quite similar to the telecommunications network before the birth of the Internet. Twenty years ago, the average price for sending a text message in Europe was 16 Euro cents. Now, you only need a smartphone that has purchased a basic data plan, and anyone can communicate for free on a global scale. At that time, the communication service was expensive, but the price was uniform; nowadays, due to the impact of cost, reliability and fluency of remittances, people who urgently need financial services often receive insufficient or limited financial services.
Throughout the world, the poor pay more for financial services. Their hard-earned income is used to cover a variety of complex expenses, such as remittance fees, wire transfer fees, overdraft fees, and ATM fees. Payroll loans can have an annualized interest rate of 400% or higher, and financial services that borrow only $100 can be as much as $30. When asked why they are still on the verge of the current financial system, those who still “have not opened a bank account” often point out that there are not enough funds, all kinds of expensive and unpredictable expenses, banks are too far away, and Lack of necessary formalities5.
Blockchains and cryptocurrencies have many unique attributes that have the potential to address the issues of financial service availability and reputation. These attributes include: distributed management to ensure that the network is not controlled by a single entity; open access, allowing anyone with Internet access to participate; and secure encryption to protect funds.
However, existing blockchain systems have not been widely adopted. The existing blockchain lacks scalability, and cryptocurrency has volatility. So far, these factors have caused existing cryptocurrencies to perform poorly in terms of value preservation and exchange media, thus hindering their widespread use in the market. In addition, some projects have attempted to undermine existing systems and bypass regulation, rather than innovating in compliance and regulation to increase the effectiveness of anti-money laundering initiatives. We believe that working together and innovating in the financial sector, including regulators and experts across industries, is the only way to ensure a sustainable, secure and credible support framework for this new system. This approach is a huge leap forward, moving us toward a lower cost, more accessible, and more connected global financial system.
As we work together on this journey, we believe it is necessary to share our beliefs with the community in order to understand the ecosystem we are planning to build around this initiative:
- We believe that more people should have the right to access financial services and cheap capital.
- We believe that everyone has the inherent right to control the results of their legitimate work.
- We believe that open, immediate and low-cost global currency flows will create enormous economic opportunities and business value for the world.
- We firmly believe that people will increasingly trust the decentralized form of management.
- We believe that global monetary and financial infrastructure should be designed and managed as a public good.
- We believe that everyone has a responsibility to help advance financial inclusion, support users who comply with ethical ethics, and continue to maintain the integrity of this ecosystem.
Introduction to Libra
Our world really needs a solid digital currency and financial infrastructure, and the combination of the two must be able to deliver on the promise of the “money internet”.
Protecting financial assets on mobile devices should be simple and intuitive. Regardless of where you live, what you do or what your income is, transferring money globally should be as easy, cost-effective, and even safer as sending text messages or sharing photos. New product innovations and new players in the financial ecosystem will help reduce the difficulty of getting everyone's access to capital while providing a smoother and more seamless payment experience for more people.
Now is the best time to create a new digital currency based on blockchain technology. Libra's mission is to create a simple, borderless currency and financial infrastructure that serves billions of people . Libra is made up of three parts that will work together to create a more inclusive financial system:
- It is based on a secure, scalable and reliable blockchain ;
- It is backed by an asset reserve that gives it intrinsic value;
- It is governed by an independent Libra association whose mission is to promote the development of this financial ecosystem.
Libra currency is based on the “Libra blockchain”. Because it is designed to serve people around the world, the software that implements the Libra blockchain is open source so that everyone can build on it and billions of people can rely on it to meet their financial needs. Imagine that developers and organizations will build an open, collaborative financial services ecosystem that helps people and companies hold and transfer Libra for everyday use. With the proliferation of smartphones and wireless data, more and more people will go online and use Libra through these new services. To enable the Libra ecosystem to achieve this vision over time, we built the blockchain it needed from scratch, while prioritizing scalability, security, storage efficiency and throughput, and adapting to the future. Sex. Read on for an overview of the Libra blockchain or read a technical paper .
This currency unit is called "Libra." Libra needs to be accepted in many places and should be readily available to those who want to use it. In other words, people need to believe that they can use Libra and believe that their value will remain relatively stable over time. Unlike most cryptocurrencies, Libra is fully supported by real asset reserves. For each newly created Libra cryptocurrency, there is a basket of bank deposits and short-term government bonds of relative value in the Libra Reserve to build trust in its intrinsic value. The purpose of the Libra reserve is to maintain the value of the Libra cryptocurrency stable and ensure that it does not fluctuate over time. Read on for an overview of Libra and its reserves, or go here to see more details.
The Libra Association is an independent, not-for-profit membership organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. The association aims to coordinate and provide a management framework for networks and asset reserves, and to lead grants that generate social impact to support inclusive finance. This white paper explains its mission, vision, and scope of authority. The member system of the association consists of a network of verifier nodes operating the Libra blockchain.
Members of the Libra Association will include a variety of businesses, non-profit organizations, multilateral organizations and academic institutions located in different geographic regions. The first group of organizations that are jointly responsible for the finalization of the association’s charter and become the “founder” of the association upon completion include (by industry):
- Payment industry: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU (Naspers' fintech arm), Stripe, Visa
- Technology and Trading Platform: Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook/Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, MercadoPago, SpotifyAB, Uber Technologies, Inc.
- Telecommunications: Iliad, Vodafone Group
- Blockchain : Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Inc., Xapo Holdings Limited
- Venture Capital: Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures
- Non-profit organizations, multilateral organizations, and academic institutions: Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Women's WorldBanking
We hope that by the time of the first half of 2020, the number of founders of the Libra Association will reach 100 or so.
The Facebook team worked with other founders to play a key role in the birth of the Libra Association and the Libra blockchain. Facebook will retain its leadership role until the end of 2019. Of course, in Libra, the association has the final decision-making power. Facebook created a regulated subsidiary, Calibra, to ensure that social and financial data are separated from each other and that they build and operate services on the Libra network.
Once the Libra Network is released, Facebook and its affiliates will have the same rights and assume the same obligations and financial responsibilities as other founders. As a member of many members, Facebook assumes the same responsibilities as other members in the management of the association.
The blockchain is divided into a "licensed blockchain" and a "non-permitted blockchain", which is determined based on whether the entity can access the blockchain platform as a verifier node. In a "licensed blockchain", an entity runs a certifier node in a privilege grant mode. In an "unlicensed blockchain", any entity that meets the technical requirements can run a certifier node. In this sense, Libra will start in the form of a licensed blockchain.
To ensure that Libra is truly open and always operating in the best interests of the user, our goal is to make the Libra network an unlicensed network. But the challenge is that we don't think there are mature solutions that can provide the scale, stability, and security needed to support billions of people around the world and transactions through unlicensed networks. One of the association's work is to work with the community to research and implement the transition from licensed to unlicensed, and the transition will begin within five years of the public release of the Libra blockchain and ecosystem.
Whether in a licensed or non-licensed state, the Libra blockchain will be open to everyone: any consumer, developer or company can use the Libra network to build products on this network and implement them through their services. Value-added effect. This openness is the essence of the Libra spirit. Open access ensures low entry and innovation thresholds and encourages healthy competition for consumers. This is the basis for achieving the goal of building more affordable financial services for the world.
The goal of the Libra blockchain is to be a solid foundation for financial services, including creating a new global currency that meets the daily financial needs of billions of people. By evaluating the existing solution, we decided to build a new blockchain based on the following three requirements:
- The ability to scale to billions of accounts requires a blockchain with extremely high transaction throughput and low latency, and an efficient and high-capacity storage system.
- Highly secure and secure to secure financial and financial data.
- Flexible enough to support the management of the Libra ecosystem and innovation in the future of financial services.
The Libra blockchain is designed and built from the ground up to build on existing projects and research, and combines innovative approaches and well-understood technologies. The next section will focus on three decisions about the Libra blockchain :
- Design and use the Move programming language.
- Use the Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) consensus mechanism.
- Adoption and iteration to improve the widely used blockchain data structure.
"Move" is a new programming language for implementing custom trading logic and "smart contracts" in the Libra blockchain. Because Libra's goal is to serve billions of people every day, Move's design first considers safety and reliability. Move is a programming language created from the experience of security contracts related to smart contracts that have occurred so far, making it easier to write code that matches the author's intent, thereby reducing unexpected vulnerabilities or security incidents. risks of. Specifically, Move is designed to prevent digital assets from being copied. It makes it possible to limit digital assets to "resource types" that have the same attributes as real assets: each resource has only one owner, the resource can only be spent once, and the creation of new resources is restricted. The Move language also makes it easy to automatically verify that a transaction meets certain attributes, such as a payment transaction that only changes the payer and payee account balances. By prioritizing these features, Move helps keep the Libra blockchain secure. By mitigating the difficulty of developing key transaction codes, Move can reliably enforce management policies for the Libra ecosystem, such as the Libra currency and the network of certifier nodes. Move will accelerate the evolution of the Libra Blockchain Agreement and any financial innovations built on it. We anticipate that the ability to create contracts will be open to developers after a period of time to support the evolution and validation of Move.
The Libra blockchain uses a BFT mechanism based on the LibraBFT consensus protocol to achieve agreement between all certifier nodes on the transactions to be executed and their execution order. This approach builds trust in the network because the BFT consensus protocol is designed to ensure that the network is functioning properly even if some of the verifier nodes (up to one-third of the network) are corrupted or fail. This type of consensus protocol also enables a high-traffic, low-latency, and more energy-efficient consensus approach than the “workload proof” mechanism used in other blockchains.
In order to secure the stored transaction data, the data in the Libra blockchain is protected by the Merkel tree, a data structure that has been widely used in other blockchains to detect existing data. Any changes. Different from the previous blockchain , the blockchain is regarded as a collection of trading blocks. The Libra blockchain is a single data structure that records transaction history and status for a long time . This implementation simplifies the workload of applications accessing the blockchain, allowing them to read any data from any point in time and verifying the integrity of the data using a unified framework.
The Libra blockchain follows anonymity and allows users to hold one or more addresses that are not related to their true identity. This is a model that many users, developers, and regulators are familiar with. The Libra Association will oversee the evolution of Libra blockchain protocols and networks and will continue to evaluate new technologies that enhance blockchain privacy protection, taking into account their usefulness, scalability and regulatory impact.
For more information, read the technical paper on the Libra Blockchain. See also the details about the Move programming language and the LibraBFT consensus protocol . We have already released an early version of the Libra test network and provided supporting documentation. The test network is still in development and the API may change. We are committed to working with the community openly and honestly, so we hope you can read the content, develop it, and provide feedback.
Libra Currency and Reserve
We believe that the world needs a global digital native currency that combines the characteristics of the world's best currency: stability, low inflation, global acceptance and interchangeability. Libra currency is designed to help meet these global needs in an effort to expand the impact of money on people around the world.
Libra's goal is to be a stable digital cryptocurrency that will be backed by a full use of real asset reserves (called “Libra Reserves”) and supported by a network of trading platforms that buy and sell Libra and compete. This means that anyone with a Libra can get a high degree of assurance that they can exchange the digital currency they hold at the exchange rate into the local currency, just like changing one currency to another when traveling. . This approach is similar to the way other currencies were introduced in the past: ensuring that this currency can be used to exchange real assets, such as gold. The purpose is to help build trust in the new currency and to achieve widespread use in the early days of the currency. Although Libra does not use gold as a support, it will be mortgaged with a range of low-volatility assets such as cash and government securities provided by a stable and reputable central bank.
It must be emphasized that this means that a Libra is not always able to convert to a local, specified currency (ie Libra is not "linked" to a single currency). Conversely, as the value of the underlying asset fluctuates, the Libra value, which is denominated in any local currency, may also fluctuate. However, the purpose of selecting reserve assets is to minimize volatility and allow Libra holders to trust the currency to maintain its value over the long term. The assets in the Libra Reserve will be held by custodians with investment-grade credit ratings across the globe to ensure the security and dispersion of assets.
The asset behind Libra is the main difference between it and many existing cryptocurrencies. These cryptocurrencies lack this intrinsic value, so prices fluctuate greatly due to psychological expectations. However, Libra is indeed a cryptocurrency, so it inherits several compelling features of these new digital currencies: the ability to quickly transfer money, secure security through encryption, and easy and free transfer of funds across borders. Just as people in the world can use their mobile phones to send messages to their friends anytime, anywhere, we can also manage money instantly, securely and economically through Libra.
The interest on the reserve assets will be used to pay for the cost of the system, to ensure low transaction costs, to distribute dividends to investors in the early stages of ecosystem start-up (to read the Libra Association here), and to support further growth and diffusion. The interest distribution on the reserve assets will be set in advance and will be supervised by the Libra Association. Libra users will not receive returns from reserve assets.
For more information on reserve policies and Libra currency, please see here .
Libra's mission is to create a simple, borderless currency and financial infrastructure that serves billions of people. To achieve this mission, the Libra blockchain and Libra reserve require a regulatory entity consisting of diverse independent members. This regulatory entity is the Libra Association, an independent non-profit membership organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. Switzerland has always held a global neutral position and is open to blockchain technology, and the Libra Association is also striving to become a neutral international institution, so registration in Switzerland is a natural choice. The Libra Association aims to facilitate the operation of the Libra blockchain; coordinate the various stakeholders (the network's verifier nodes) to agree on the process of promoting, developing and expanding the network; and manage reserve assets.
The Libra Association is governed by the Libra Association Council, which is composed of a single representative from each of the verifier nodes. Board members work together to make decisions about the governance of networks and reserves. In the initial phase, this group consists of global companies, non-profit organizations, multilateral organizations and academic institutions as founders. All decisions will be made through the Board of Directors. Major policy or technical decisions require two-thirds of the members to vote, the absolute majority of network members required in the BFT Consensus Agreement.
Through the association, the verifier nodes are aligned with the network's technical solutions and development goals. In this regard, associations are similar to other non-profit entities, usually in the form of foundations that manage open source projects. Since Libra's future development depends on a decentralized and growing community of open source contributors, the association is a necessary medium to guide the development and adoption of protocols or specifications.
The Libra Association is also an entity responsible for managing Libra's reserves, thus controlling the stability and growth of Libra's economy. Only the Libra Association can manufacture (mint) and burn (burn) Libra. Libra coins will only be manufactured when an authorized dealer invests legal assets to buy Libra coins from the association to fully support the new currency. Libra coins will only be destroyed when an authorized dealer sells Libra coins to the association in exchange for mortgage assets. Libra reserves assume the role of “final buyer” as authorized dealers are always able to sell Libra coins to reserves at a price equal to the value of the basket. These activities of the Libra Association are regulated and governed by the Reserve Management Policy, which can only be changed with the consent of a majority of the members of the Association.
In the early years of the network's development, additional roles were required to do the following for the association: recruiting the founder of the verifier's node; fundraising for a quick start of the ecosystem; designing and implementing an incentive plan to drive Libra Widely used, including the issuance of such incentive bonuses to founders; the establishment of a social impact funding program in the name of the association.
An additional goal of the association is to develop and promote an open identity standard. We believe that decentralized and portable digital identity is a prerequisite for financial inclusion and competition.
An important goal of the Libra Association is to gradually increase the degree of decentralization. This decentralization helps to lower the barriers to entry and use of the network, and in the long run it also helps to increase the resiliency of the Libra ecosystem. As mentioned above, the association will gradually implement the unlicensed management and consensus of the Libra network. The association will strive to initiate this transition within five years and gradually reduce its reliance on the founders. Similarly, as a Libra reserve manager, the Libra Association will strive to minimize its reliance on itself.
To learn more about the Libra Association, please see here .
What is Libra's next step?
Today, we will publish this document to outline Libra's goals and launch libra.org as the homepage for information dissemination for associations and all Libra transactions. The site will continue to release updates in the coming months. We also opened up the source code for the Libra blockchain and launched Libra's initial test network for developers to try and build on.
The scheduled targeted release date is the first half of 2020, and before that, we still have a lot of work to do.
- In the coming months, the association will collect feedback from the community on the prototype of the Libra blockchain and then enter the production readiness phase. In particular, this work will focus on ensuring the security, performance, and scalability of the protocol and implementation.
- The Libra Association will build well-documented APIs and libraries to enable user interaction with the Libra blockchain.
- The Libra Association will use open source methods to create a framework for collaborative technology development behind the Libra blockchain. We will establish appropriate procedures for discussing and reviewing changes to the underlying protocol and software for the blockchain.
- The association will conduct extensive testing of the blockchain, from testing the protocol to integrating entities (such as wallet services and trading platforms) to test the network as a whole to ensure that the system is functioning properly before it is released.
- The association will work to promote the development of the Move language, and once the Libra ecosystem is released, once the development of the Move language has stabilized, we will establish a path for third parties to create smart contracts.
- Together with the community, the association will overcome technical challenges on the road to an unlicensed ecosystem and strive to achieve our goal of transitioning within five years of launch.
- The association will set up a regulatory team for the reserve, with members consisting of local and regulated global institutional custodians.
- The association will establish operational procedures for the reserve to trade with authorized dealers and ensure high transparency and auditability.
- The Association will develop appropriate policies and procedures to regulate the way the association changes the composition of the reserve basket.
- We will expand the Libra Association Board of Directors to include approximately 100 diverse members located throughout the country, all of whom will serve as the initial verifier nodes for the Libra blockchain.
- On the basis of the current governance structure, we will develop a comprehensive charter and a series of rules for the association.
- We will recruit a managing director for the association and continue to form the association's executive team with this person.
- We will select social impact partners who share our common mission and work with them to establish social impact advisory committees and develop social impact plans.
How to participate
The association wants to create a vibrant ecosystem for developers to build applications and services that encourage people around the world to use Libra. The association believes that if the system allows any individual or company in the world to immediately withdraw its funds in a fair and affordable way, it is a success. For example, success will mean that people working abroad can remit money in a convenient and quick way, while college students can easily pay rent as much as buying coffee.
Our journey has only just begun and we need to seek the help of the community. If you believe that Libra can serve billions of people around the world, please share your thoughts and join us. In order for financial inclusion to become a reality around the world, your feedback is indispensable.
If you are a researcher or protocol developer , you can preview the Libra Test Network (released under the Apache 2.0 open source license) and accompanying documentation in advance. This process has just started, the test network is still an early prototype in development, but you can immediately read the relevant content, develop and provide feedback. Since the current focus is on maintaining the stability of the prototype, the project schedule may initially be slow so that we can adopt the community's input. However, we are committed to building a community-oriented development process and opening it to developers as soon as possible, starting with the merge request.
If you would like to learn about the Libra Association , please go here to see the details.
If your organization is interested in becoming a founding member or applying to donate a social impact grant to the Libra Association , please go here to see the details.
In the coming months, the association will work with the global community and continue to work with decision makers around the world to advance this mission.
Libra's goals are as follows: Create a stable currency based on a secure and stable open source blockchain backed by real asset reserves and managed by an independent association.
We hope to create more complete and affordable open financial services that people can enjoy regardless of their identity, regardless of geography, occupation, rich or poor. We are fully aware that achieving such a vision will require long-term hard work and will not be accomplished by one's own efforts. This will require everyone to work together and move forward in a down-to-earth manner. I hope that you can join us and help us turn this dream into reality and benefit billions of people around the world.
Click to download the white paper (Chinese)
Click to download the white paper (English)
Click to download Libra Technical White Paper (English)