As we said in the report we published the day Facebook officially announced everything – we’ve been covering Facebook’s entry into cryptocurrency before they even knew they were getting into it… that’s explained better here.
Honestly, after that announcement it was being talked about at every turn – and I needed a break from the Libra buzz and everyone sharing their predictions, doomsday warnings, whatever.
But I feel a little less overloaded with Libra hype this week, so having caught my breath I thought now would be a good time to check in with some of our sources closer to the project.
With most of the details now being public I wasn’t expecting much other than to say hi. However, I got some unexpected interesting information instead.
My source (who asked to remain unnamed) isn’t part of the Libra project, but does hold a management position in a department Libra and Calibra will be heavily integrated into. For that reason, his team is ‘kept in the loop’ .
First he pointed out to me “Everyone has been focusing entirely on the Libra coin, they passed over the other big part of the announcement – the wallet, aka Calibra” – he’s right, i’m guilty.
The only details we had so far was that this would first appear inside of WhatsApp in 2020, it will send and store the Libra coin. But to be fair, they didn’t say that’s all it would do.
According to this source, one feature still being kept under wraps – “Support for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies“.
Asking for as many details as possible, he explained “When it comes to the core group making the decisions, I think the cryptocurrency community is underestimating them a bit. Seriously, the Libra team members I’ve met so far aren’t a bunch of crypto newbies.
I’ll put it this way, so far of the few i’ve met, if they weren’t working in crypto or blockchain before coming to facebook, they’ve at least owned and traded crypto long enough to get it.
So to me this wasn’t really a surprise. I can’t imagine many people who are into cryptocurrency (casually or professionally) developing a cryptocurrency wallet without Bitcoin support.
The Libra team knows this. There’s no demand for a 1 coin wallet, that would just lead to people looking for a 3rd party wallet with Libra support.“
But the most interesting part of this – his theory on how it could be implemented…
“I think this may be where we see Coinbase’s partnership in the project come in to play. With Coinbase facilitating the trade, any BTC held in the Calibra wallet could be instantly swapped for Libra and sent as a payment
Instant Bitcoin payments via Libra – think about it, if the BTC is in the Calibra wallet there’s no need for us to wait for transactions to confirm on Bitcoin’s blockchain. The wallet would confirm the user owns the necessary amount of Bitcoin, so we could swap out any BTC with Libra, and if the actual transaction behind that takes 30 minutes, who cares? We know it’s coming, and the payment is done.“
It’s clear a lot is in the works, and I would like to emphasize – anything can change.
This source has been 100% accurate in the past so i’m fully convinced this is the current plan of the Libra team members he’s talked to. But any feature on the table now, but not officially announced publicly, could still go.
I will say, stepping back and looking at the big picture – the big players in the smartphone industry keep inching towards cryptocurrency wallets becoming a standard feature.
Unlike Google, Apple, and Samsung – Facebook can’t simply decide their wallet will be included on millions of phones, their wallet needs to be good enough that people choose to install it.
A lot can happen between now and 2020 – and we’ll keep you updated.