Facebook’s planned cryptocurrency has turned into a cold response from labs, nonprofits and politicians expressing concerns regarding the social system’s ambitious endeavor . Even President Donald Trump bashed Libra, that was introduced only a month ago, saying it’ll have”little standing or dependability.”

The surroundings will probably get frostier if the Senate banking committee convenes a hearing Tuesday dawn to talk about Facebook’s plans. Despite its ironic title — that the hearing is known as”Examining Facebook’s Proposed Digital Currency and Data Privacy Considerations” — that the assembly provides legislators the chance to sound off to their worries. They appear to have lots.

Actually, senators have been searching into Libra because before its was formally declared on June 18. In early May, Sens. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, the chairman and ranking member, composed to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg seeking advice about Libra following weeks of escapes concerning the job. David Marcus, the Facebook executive operating the Libra project, replied the senators’ questions two months later.

The association, which will serve as a monetary authority for the cryptocurrency, says Libra’s purpose is to”enable countless individuals,” citing 1.7 billion adults without bank accounts who could use the currency.

“Facebook established Calibra, a controlled subsidiary, to guarantee separation between societal and fiscal information and to develop and run services on its own behalf in addition to this Libra system,” according to a white paper describing the Libra project.

In addition to running the Calibra wallet, Facebook expects to”keep a leadership role during 2019.” After the network is launched, Facebook says its role and responsibilities will be the same as those of any other founding member.

How is Libra different from other cryptocurrencies?

Let’s start by addressing how Libra is similar to other cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and ether. Like them, Libra exists entirely in digital form. You won’t be able to get a Libra note or coin. And like other cryptocurrencies, Libra transactions are recorded on a software ledger, known as blockchain, that confirms each transfer. The Libra blockchain will be managed by the founding members in the early stages but evolve into a fully open system in the future.

Unlike bitcoin, Ethereum and some other cryptocurrencies, which aren’t backed by anything and swing wildly in response to speculation, Libra will be pegged to a basket of assets that will anchor its value. The Libra Association hasn’t said what those assets will be but indicated they will include”bank deposits and government securities in monies from secure and trusted centralized banks” That suggests major global currencies, like the dollar and the euro, which don’t fluctuate violently day to day.

The supply of Libra will grow or shrink based on how popular it is. If people want to use Libra, the association will buy more of the underlying assets and create, or “mint,” new Libra. If people want to cash out of Libra, the association will pay them and destroy, or “burn,” the proper amount of Libra.

Backing a currency with an asset isn’t anything new. In fact, it used to be common. The US dollar was backed by gold until 1971. The value of the Hong Kong dollar is pegged to the US dollar and managed by a currency board, which can only issue new notes if it has enough in reserves.

How do Libra and other cryptocurrencies compare to the US dollar?

The US dollar is tried and true and pretty much accepted anywhere in the world. Some countries like the greenback so much that they use it instead of their own money. And dollars earn interest, although at current rates that won’t add up to very much.

Of course, the dollar has weaknesses. Using dollars, particularly across borders, can be expensive because banks take a cut to convert them into local currencies. If you’re using dollars on a prepaid card, the credit card company is probably charging the merchant a portion of your purchase. And if the US government prints too many dollars, inflation could follow.

Despite the hype, cryptocurrencies aren’t widely used. Try buying a cup of coffee with ether. (Yes, it’s possible. But not widespread.) The value of cryptocurrencies is volatile, often rising or falling more than 5% a day, making it difficult to get a sense of the long-term worth of the asset.

Cryptocurrencies can make it easy to send money directly to someone. Though not private, cryptocurrencies can be pseudonymous. Some cryptocurrencies, notably bitcoin, have a cap on the number that can be minted, meaning that owners of existing coins don’t have to worry about the arbitrary creation of new coins.

Is this just a ploy so Facebook can get its hands on my financial data and send me even more precisely targeted ads?

We hear you. Facebook doesn’t have a great reputation for privacy protection.

The social network says don’t worry … not that you expected it to say anything else. Calibra, the maker of the wallet you’ll need to use Libra, is set up as a subsidiary of Facebook. The arrangement allows for Calibra to be regulated by authorities to prevent money laundering and other financial crimes. But it will also keep Calibra’s financial data separate from Facebook’s social data, according to the company.

Calibra says explicitly that customer data won’t be used to improve ad targeting, Facebook’s money spinner. “Calibra clients’ account information and financial data will not be used to improve ad targeting on the Facebook Inc. family of products,” it stated in a release.

The business states it will only share customer information with third parties in some situations, for example to obey the law, prevent fraud or even ease obligations. Additionally, it states Calibra will find customer approval before using Facebook information to enhance attributes.

What is in a title?

A lot. Libra is a astrological sign that symbolizes justice. It is an early Roman component of burden . Plus it signifies”free” in French although it is spelled”libre.”

What do regulators and politicians consider Libra?

Besides Trump and a few high-profile legislators, Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, told House lawmakers on Wednesday that the US’ central bank”serious issues ” about Libra. Both the Federal Reserve System and a separate panel called the Financial Stability Oversight Council are meeting to discuss Libra alongside global policy makers, he said.

Europeans have expressed similar concerns.

Bruno Le Maire, France’s finance minister, told Europe 1 radio that Libra was fine if its use was limited to transactions, according to AFP, but shouldn’t become a”sovereign money” that could be used to issue debt or serve other functions associated with government-issued money. Bank of England Gov. Mark Carney referenced Facebook’s cryptocurrency project, saying,”Anything is effective in this planet will get instantly systemic and might need to be subject to the greatest standards of law,” according to Bloomberg. Markus Ferber, a German member of the European Parliament, said regulators should be on”high alert” about Libra.