One of the challenges with international development is getting money to where it is most needed. People may be unbanked, lacking Identification, or the financial system may be down post-disaster. Could a mobile phone accessible, single global digital currency be the solution? Libra, as planned by Facebook, intends to "reinvent" money by making a financial transaction as cheap and simple as "sending a text message or sharing a photo."
Formally announced June 18, 2019, Libra is a permissioned blockchain digital currency proposed by the social media company Facebook. A first version of Libra is expected to be released in 2020. The project, currency, and translations are to be managed and cryptographically entrusted to a newly formed association called the Libra Association, headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. This membership association consists of Facebook's subsidiary Calibra and 27 others across a broad spectrum of payment, technology, telecommunication, online marketplace, venture capital, and non-profits. On July 15, 2019, Facebook announced that the currency will not launch until all regulatory concerns and "appropriate approvals" have been met. In a further meeting on September 18, 2019, Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said that Libra would not be launched anywhere in the world without first obtaining approval from United States regulators.
Against this backdrop and as part of the SID-Washington's role as a neutral convener of forums for international development, we look forward to a lively panel and discussion on Libra including participation by Libra Association member Mercy Corps and Premise Data. This event will be followed by a happy hour (Location: TBA).
Please note that registration for this event has closed. If you are still interested in attending, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.