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All you need to know – TechCrunch



Facebook has finally revealed the details of its cryptocurrency balance, which allows you to buy things or send money to people who pay almost no fees. You will buy or pay for your balance online or at local bureaus de change such as grocery stores and spend it with compatible third-party wallet apps or Facebook's own Calibra wallet, which integrates with WhatsApp, Messenger and your own app. Today, Facebook has released a white paper outlining the scale and test network for fixing blockchain system bumps before the public launch in the first half of 2020.

Facebook will not fully control the scale, but only one Like other founding members of the Libra Association, including Visa, Uber and Andreessen Horowitz, each of which has invested at least $ 1

0 million in the operation of the project she only one vote in her governance. The association will promote the open sourcing platform for the Libra blockchains and developers using its own Move programming language and will also register companies that accept Libra as a means of payment and even offer customers discounts or rewards.

Dealing with crypto and preserving users' privacy by never mixing your balance payments with your Facebook data so they can not be used for ad targeting. Your true identity is not tied to your publicly visible transactions. However, Facebook / Calibra and other founding members of the Libra Association will be earning interest on the money that users keep in reserve to keep the value of the balance stable. Digital currencies that promote the financial inclusion of non-banks have more privacy and decentralization than expected by many. Instead of trying to dominate the future of Libra or getting out a lot of money right away, Facebook is playing the long game by pulling payments into its online domain. Blockchain vice president on Facebook, David Marcus, explains the business motive and relationship with the main source of income and says, "As more trading occurs, more small businesses will sell more on and off platforms and they will want to buy more ads on the platform so it will be good for our ad business. "

The Risk and Reward of Building the New PayPal

In cryptocurrencies, Facebook saw both a threat and a chance. They pledged to disrupt the buying and selling of things by eliminating the transaction fees associated with credit cards. This is dangerously close to Facebook's advertising business, which has an impact on what is bought and sold. If a competitor like Google or an upstart could build a popular medal and monitor transactions, they would find out what people were buying and could increase the billions spent on Facebook marketing. Meanwhile, the 1.7 billion people who lack a bank account could choose who offers them an alternative financial services provider as an online identity provider. That's another thing Facebook wants to be.

However, existing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum have not been developed specifically for scaling as a medium of exchange. Their unsecured price was prone to large and unpredictable fluctuations, making it difficult for traders to accept payments. And cryptocurrencies are exploiting much of their potential beyond speculation, unless there are plenty of places to spend them instead of dollars, and the experience of buying and spending them is easy enough for a mainstream audience. However, with Facebook's relationship with 7 million advertisers and 90 million small businesses, as well as users' experience, Facebook was well positioned to address this issue.

Now Facebook would like to make Libra for the advancement of PayPal. Hopefully the scales will be easier to set up, more pervasive, more efficient, with less fees, more accessible to non-banks, more flexible thanks to developers, and more sustainable through decentralization.

[19659002] "Success will mean that a person working abroad has a quick and easy way to send money to the family, and a student can pay his rent as easily as he does Coffee can buy, "writes Facebook in the Libra documentation. That would be a big improvement over today if you can not pay the rent with insecure checks, while exploitative remittance services charge an average of 7% for sending money overseas and take $ 50 billion off users each year. Libra could also trigger tiny microloans worth a few cents associated with credit card fees or replace your prepaid transit pass.

… or it might be ignored by consumers who regard it as too much effort for too little, global reward, or too unfamiliar and limited in use to pull them into the modern financial landscape. Facebook has made a name for over-developed, under-utilized products. It will need any help it can get if it wants to replace what's already in our pockets.

How does the balance work?

By now you know the basics of Libra. Buy currency in local currency, scale, how to spend dollars, with no big transaction fees or your real name whenever you want. You can always stop reading this article and share it with others if you just care about it. However, the underlying technology, the association, the wallets you use, and the way payments are made contain a multitude of intriguing details. Facebook has published over 100 pages of Libra and Calibra documentation, and we've put together the key facts. We dive.

The Libra Association – Crypto's New Oligarchy

Facebook knew that people would not dare to fully control the crypto currency they used, and it also wanted help to promote adoption. For example, Facebook recruited the founding members of the Libra Association to monitor the development of the token, the reserve of real assets that gave it value, and the blockchain's governance rules. Each founding member paid at least $ 10 million to become a member and optionally become a validation node operator (more on that later), to vote in the Libra Association Council, and to receive a share (proportional to his investment) in Die Interest earned on Libra reserve users is paid in Fiat currency to maintain the balance.

  • Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU (Naspers' Fintech Arm), Stripe, Visa
  • Technology and Marketplaces: Booking Stocks, eBay, Facebook / Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, Mercado Pago, Spotify AB, Uber Technologies ,
  • Telecommunications: Iliad, Vodafone Group
  • Blockchain: Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Inc., Xapo Holdings Limited
  • Risk Capital: Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures [19659015] Nonprofit and multilateral organizations as well as academic institutions: Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, and Women's World Banking

Facebook hopes to reach pre-official launch of Libra's 100 founding members, including direct competitors Like Google or Twitter.

To become a member, members must have half a rack of server storage, a dedicated Internet connection at 100 Mbps or more, a full-time Site Reliability Engineer, and enterprise-level security. Enterprises must reach two out of three thresholds with a market value of $ 1 billion or $ 500 million in customer deposits, reach 20 million people per year, and / or be recognized by a group such as Interbrand Global or S & P as the top 100 industry leaders. 19659002] Crypto-focused investors must have more than $ 1 billion in assets under management, while blockchain companies have been in business for a year, providing corporate-grade security and privacy, and holding assets in excess of $ 100 million need to use. And only up to a third of the founding members can do crypto-related business or randomly invited exceptions. Facebook also accepts research facilities such as universities and nonprofits that meet three or four levels, including work on financial inclusion for over five years, multinational reach of many users, Charity Navigator Top 100 awards, and the like and / or a budget of 50 million dollars.

The Libra Association will be responsible for recruiting more founding members as blockchain validation nodes, raising funds to boost the ecosystem, and designing incentive programs to reward early adopters. and grant social benefits. A council with a representative from each member will assist in selecting the club's managing director, who will appoint a leadership team and elect a board of directors with 5 to 19 top representatives.

Each member, including Facebook / Calibra, has only one vote or one vote% of the total votes (whichever is greater) in the Libra Association Council. This provides a degree of decentralization that protects against Facebook or other players who hijack the scale for their own benefit.

The Libra Currency – A Stable Coin

A Libra is a Libra cryptocurrency unit represented by a three waved horizontal line Unicode symbol ≋ as the dollar is represented by $. The value of a balance should remain largely stable, so this is a good medium of exchange, as traders can trust that today they will not receive a balance that will be worth less tomorrow. The value of the balance is tied to a basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities to yield a number of historically stable international currencies such as the dollar, pound, euro, Swiss franc and yen. The Libra Association maintains this asset basket and can adjust the balance of its composition if necessary to compensate for major price movements in any foreign currency, so that the value of a balance remains constant.

The Libra Association is still at the starting point for Libra, but it should be close to the value of a dollar, euro, or pound, so it's easy to imagine it. In this way, a gallon of milk in the US could cost 3 to 4 scales, similar but not exactly like dollars.

The idea is that you spend some money and maintain a balance between Libra and Libra that you can spend on the acceptance of merchants and online services. You can trade your local currency for certain wallet apps like Calibra from Facebook, third-party wallet apps, and local resellers such as convenience stores or grocery versus scales, and vice versa.

The Libra Reserve – One for One

Each time someone redeems a dollar or their national currency, that money is paid into the Libra Reserve and a corresponding value of the balance paid to that person. If someone makes a payoff from the Libra Association, the balance he returns will be destroyed / burned and he will receive back the equivalent in his native currency. This means that always 100% of the value of the balance is in circulation and secured with real assets in the balance reserve. It never runs fractionally. And unloved "tied" sturdy coins, which are tied to a single currency such as the USD, the balance retains its own value – though over time this should result in about the same amount of a particular currency.

When members of the Libra Association join and pay their minimum of $ 10 million, they receive Libra Investment Tokens. Their share of total cash is calculated by dividing the dividend they earn from interest on assets in the reserve. These dividends are paid only after the Libra Association has used interest to cover operating costs, ecosystem investments, technical research and grants to charities and other organizations. This interest is part of what attracted members of the Libra Association. When the scale becomes popular and many people have a large account balance, the reserve grows and earns considerable interest.

The Libra Blockchain – Designed for Speed ​​

Each Libra payment is permanently written to the Libra Blockchain – a cryptographically authenticated database that acts as a public online ledger for 1000 transactions per second. Blockchain is operated and under constant review by founding members of the Libra Association, each of which has invested $ 10 million or more in cryptocurrency control and the ability to run a validation node.

When a transaction is submitted, each of the nodes runs a calculation based on the existing GL of all transactions. Thanks to a Byzantine fault-tolerance system, only two-thirds of the nodes need to agree that the transaction is legitimate to execute and write to the blockchain. A structure of Merkle trees in the code makes it easier to detect changes to the Libra blockchain.

Transactions on the scale can not be reversed. If an attack affects more than one-third of the validation nodes and causes a branch in the blockchain, the Libra Association will temporarily suspend the transactions, determine the extent of the damage, and recommend software updates to resolve the branch.

Transactions are not completely free. They pay a tiny fraction of a penny charge for "gas," which covers the cost of handling the money transfer, as with Ethereum. This fee will be negligible to most consumers, but when they add up gas prices, bad actors are prevented from making millions of transactions to engage in spam and denial-of-service attacks.

Move Coding Language – For Moving Libra

The Libra blockchain is open source with an Apache 2.0 license, and any developer can create apps that work with the Move encoding language. The blockchain prototype today launches its test network and is therefore in developer beta mode until it is officially launched in the first half of 2020. The Libra Association is working with HackerOne to launch a bug-bounty system later this year, which will allow security researchers to be paid for secure identification of defects and disruptions. In the meantime, the Libra Association implements the Libra Core with the Rust programming language, which was developed to prevent security vulnerabilities and the Move language is not yet fully ready.

Move was created to simplify the writing of blockchain code, which follows an author's intention to introduce without error. It's called a move because its primary function is to move balance coins from one account to another and never accidentally duplicate those assets. The core transaction code looks like this:

LibraAccount.pay_from_sender (recipient_address, amount) method

Finally, Move can create smart contracts for programmatic interactions with the libra blockchain. By the time Move is done, developers can use Move to create IR modules and transaction scripts for Libra. These are high enough to be read by humans, but low enough to translate into true move bytecode written to the blockchain.

The Libra ecosystem and the Move language can be fully used and created, posing a significant risk. Crooked developers could track down crypto novices, claiming that their app works just as legit and that it's safe because it uses Libra. But if consumers are cheated on by these scammers, the trouble will surely rise on Facebook. Even if they try to dissociate themselves enough through the subsidiary Libra and the club, many people will probably always regard Libra as the cryptocurrency of Facebook and blame them for their suffering.

Using Libra In The Wild – Calibra

So how do you own and spend Libra? About Libra Wallets like Facebook's Calibra and others that are created by third parties, possibly also by members of the Libra Association such as PayPal. The idea is to send money to a friend or pay for something as simple as sending a Facebook message. However, you can only make or receive real payments after the official launch next year.

None of the members of the Libra Association has agreed to give details of what should be built on the blockchain. But we can use Facebook's Calibra wallet as an example of the basic experience. Calibra is launched together with the Libra currency on iOS and Android in Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and a stand-alone app. When users log in for the first time, they will be guided through an anti-fraud process where they will be required to provide a government-issued photo ID and other verification information. You must carefully examine the customers and report suspicious activity to the authorities.

From there, you can deposit into Libra, select a friend or dealer, set an amount to send to them, and add a description and send them Libra. You can also request Libra. It's also likely that Calibra offers a faster way to pay dealers by scanning their or their QR code today. "It's decentralized – that is, it's run by many different organizations instead of just one, making the system fairer overall – it's available to anyone with an internet connection and has low fees and costs, and it's cryptographically secure to yours Protecting Money This is an important part of our vision for a privacy-driven social platform where you can interact in any way, from messages to secure payments. "

By default, Facebook does not import your contacts or any of your profile information, but you may ask if you would like this, and none of your transaction data will be returned to Facebook so that you will not be targeted by advertisements, rated as newsfeeds, or otherwise directly paid for in Facebook.The data will only aggregate in certain cases , anonymous form or at the request of prosecution authorities.

If you get hacked, cheated, or lose access to your account, Calibra will refund your lost coins, if possible. 24-hour chat support. Given that Calibra is likely to become the standard wallet for many Libra users, this extra protection is crucial.

Calibra currently does not earn money. Kevin Weil, the Blockchain Facebook Team Product Manager, tells me that if Facebook reached the caliber, Facebook could bring to market other financial services that could make it money.

A Global Coin

If Facebook is successful and legions of people cash for the Libra, they and the other founding members of the Libra Association could earn large dividends on the interest. And when it suddenly becomes super-fast to buy things with Libra on Facebook, companies will increase their ad spending there. But if the scale is hacked or turns out to be unreliable, it can cost many people around the world money while using cryptocurrencies. And by offering an open Libra platform, dodgy developers could develop apps that not only retrieve the personal information of people like Cambridge Analytica, but also their hard-earned digital money.

Facebook just tried to reinvent money. Next year, we'll see if the Libra Association can do it.

Das Unternehmen gab heute Morgen bekannt, dass seine To-Do-App live im Mac App Store verfügbar ist, wo sie am meisten unterstützt wird Die wichtigsten Funktionen, einschließlich der Möglichkeit, Aufgaben zu erstellen und zu verwalten, offline zu arbeiten, Listen freizugeben, Tags zu verwenden und vieles mehr. Es wird auch in Microsoft Outlook integriert, um Ihre "Markierte" E-Mail-Liste abzurufen und wird bald die Integration mit Planner unterstützen, sodass Sie alle Ihnen zugewiesenen Elemente sehen können.

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Die Mac-Version nutzt auch ihre neue Plattform, um eine Handvoll Tastaturkürzel anzubieten, wie u2318 2, um die App zu minimieren, sodass nur die Listenansicht angezeigt wird, und u23181, um zu zurückzukehren Anzeigen aller Listen. Sie können auch auf den Text einer Aufgabe klicken, um ihn direkt in der Listenansicht zu bearbeiten. U00a0

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Beachten Sie, dass Microsoft diese native Mac-App mit 100% AppKit erstellt hat sagt.

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Auf der weltweiten Entwicklerkonferenz von Apple in diesem Monat kündigte das Unternehmen eine Reihe neuer Tools an: Project Catalyst . Mit diesen Tools können Entwickler ihre iPad-Apps auf den Mac übertragen ihre vorhandene Codebasis. Dies wird voraussichtlich im Laufe der Zeit mehr Mac-Apps in den Mac App Store von Apple bringen, da die Verwaltung mehrerer Apps für verschiedene Plattformen vereinfacht wird. Twitter beispielsweise hat am Freitag angekündigt, Project Catalyst zu nutzen, um seine App wieder auf den Mac zu bringen.

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Microsoft ging jedoch einen anderen Weg. Wir wissen, dass das Unternehmen die neue App an Mac-Benutzer ausliefern wollte, die ältere Versionen von macOS (macOS High Sierra und höher) verwenden, die Project Catalyst nicht zuließ will mean for Wunderlist — an app that has a near-perfect 4.9 out of 5 stars rating on the Mac App Store and is the No. 21 most popular free app in the store's Productivity category.

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As of today's launch, Microsoft To-Do has seen a surge of downloads and jumped ahead of its predecessor — it now claims the No. 11 spot in the same category (as of the time of writing).

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Microsoft had earlier promised that it wouldn't close down Wunderlist until it was confident that it has “incorporated the best of Wunderlist into To-Do.” Some of the company's initial concerns were adding support for list sharing in To-Do and rolling out support for all platforms — which Microsoft has now done with this Mac app launch .

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We asked Microsoft if it will comment on its updated plans for Wunderlist as a result of this launch.

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“We’re not currently working on new features for Wunderlist as we’re concentrating on our new app, Microsoft To-Do,” a spokesperson said. “Once we are confident that we have incorporated the best of Wunderlist into Microsoft To-Do, we will retire Wunderlist,” they added.

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This is generally the same statement the company made years ago, so it doesn’t add much clarity to the situation.

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In the meantime, the new Mac version of To-Do is a free download from the Mac App Store here.

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Microsoft in 2017 said it would eventually shut down Wunderlist, a company it acquired, in order to forge ahead with its own “to do” app. It has since launched To-Do, as the app is called, on Windows, iOS, Android and the web and expanded its feature set. Today, it’s bringing the app to the Mac, […]

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founders need to decide how much salary is enough"},"content":{"rendered":"

Startup founders don’t typically launch a company as a get-rich-quick scheme. Most know that it will be a long, hard slog if they are to succeed. There will be lean years where the money is tight, and where they may personally struggle to pay their bills. They do it because they believe in the mission and they want to build a successful company, where, if all goes well, they could end up with a healthy amount of money.

n

But it takes a lot of hard work, long hours, tough times and a bit of luck to find your way through to a successful outcome, however you choose to define that. Early on every dollar you give yourself is money that’s not going into the business, and while you don’t want to starve yourself, neither do you want to run out of money, and those early dollars are especially valuable.

n

While the ultimate goal is a successful exit, not everyone gets there, and it begs the question, how much is fair to take out in the form of salary, especially in the early years when money is tight, and at what point is it reasonable to sell a bit of equity to take some money out of the business and live a more comfortable life. There are no hard and fast answers.

n

Removing financial obstacles

n

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Startup founders don’t typically launch a company as a get-rich-quick scheme. Most know that it will be a long, hard slog if they are to succeed. There will be lean years where the money is tight, and where they may personally struggle to pay their bills. They do it because they believe in the mission […]

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Previously, he was a long-time Contributing Editor at EContent Magazine. Past regular gigs included CITEworld, DaniWeb, TechTarget, Internet Evolution and FierceContentManagement.

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Disclosures:

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Ron is currently corporate blogger for Intronis where he writes once weekly on IT issues. He has contributed to various corporate blogs in the past including Ness, Novell and the IBM Mid-market Blogger Program.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a speech to Stanford graduates this weekend. In addition to the usual motivational stuff, he attacked other big tech companies in a not-so-subtle way. He painted a stark picture of Silicon Valley, saying itu2019s responsible for too many mistakes.

n

u201cToday we gather at a moment that demands some reflections. Fueled by caffeine and code, optimism and idealism, conviction and creativity, generations of Stanford graduates and dropouts have used technology to remake our society,u201d Cook said.

n

u201cBut I think you would agree that lately the results havenu2019t been neat or straightforward. In just the four years that youu2019ve been here, things feel like theyu2019ve taken a sharp turn. Crisis has tempered optimism. Consequences have challenged idealism. And reality has shaken blind faith.u201d

n

In order to counterbalance that statement, Cook named a few great inventions that were born in Silicon Valley, from Hewlett Packardu2019s oscillator to the iPhone, social media, shareable videos and Snapchat stories u2014 YouTube and Facebook werenu2019t named directly.

n

u201cBut lately it seems this industry is becoming better known for a less noble innovation u2014 the belief that you can claim credit without accepting responsibility. We see it every day now with every data breach, every privacy violation, every blind eye turned to hate speech, fake news poisoning our national conversation, the false miracles in exchange for a single drop of your blood,u201d he continued.

n

u201cIt feels a bit crazy that anyone has to say this, but if you built a chaos factory, you canu2019t dodge responsibility for the chaos. Taking responsibility means having the courage to think things through,u201d he added later.

n

Cook then focused on privacy, a topic that is dear to his heart. u201cIf we accept as normal and unavoidable that anything in our lives can be aggregated, sold or even leaked in the event of a hack, then we lose so much more than data. We lose the freedom to be human,u201d he said. u201cThe chilling effect of digital surveillance is profound and it touches everything.u201d

n

Sure, itu2019s easier to say that as the CEO of Apple. The company still generates the vast majority of its revenue from hardware. And Apple can be criticized for many business practices as well. But itu2019s hard to disagree with Cook on this topic.

n

n","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Apple CEO Tim Cook gave a speech to Stanford graduates this weekend. In addition to the usual motivational stuff, he attacked other big tech companies in a not-so-subtle way. He painted a stark picture of Silicon Valley, saying itu2019s responsible for too many mistakes. u201cToday we gather at a moment that demands some reflections. Fueled […]

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Romain Dillet is a Senior Writer at TechCrunch.

nn

Originally from France, Romain attended EMLYON Business School, a leading French business school specialized in entrepreneurship. He covers many things from mobile apps with great design to privacy, security, fintech, Apple, AI and complex tech achievements. He also speaks at major tech conferences. He likes pop culture more than anything in the world.

nn

He now lives in Paris when he's not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

nn

He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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“Sure, itu2019s easier to say that as the CEO of Apple.”

n

Actually, it’s the opposite. While every other tech company is taking the easy path, giving in to the temptation of harvesting and monetizing their customers’ data, Apple has taken the more difficult path of monetizing the products and services they produce and sell to their customers, and ensuring their customers’ data remains private and secure in the process.

n

Every other company out there is taking the easy path and Apple are staying true to their values despite how lucrative it may be in the short term to give in and follow the trend.

n"},"link":"https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/17/tim-cook-says-silicon-valley-has-created-too-much-chaos/#comment-666031","type":"comment","author_avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/c2d34731988375cd3c4f20a1bd48cdd8?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/c2d34731988375cd3c4f20a1bd48cdd8?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/c2d34731988375cd3c4f20a1bd48cdd8?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"techcrunch":{"avatar":"https://ct.yimg.com/cy/1768/39361574426_98028a_64sq.jpg","company":"(no company found)","title":"(no title found)","user":"KCEOAFFGQUKWOIZ3DFBNCAZLKI"},"_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/666031"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments"}],"up":[{"embeddable":true,"post_type":"post","href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1845039"}],"children": [{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?parent=666031"}]}},{"id":666034,"parent":666031,"author":0,"author_name":"M E","author_url":"","date":"2019-06-17T14:24:09","content":{"rendered":"

Exactly! Thank you.

n

Apple could easily grow their revenue significantly by harvesting all the iPhone and Apple Watch data. Location, health, when we wake up and go to sleep, even what we order for food, what we buy, etc. They could even take a sliver of this and give Google & Facebook a run for their money in terms of targeted ads.

n

But they’re sticking to hardware. And hardware brings a host of issues from Chinese supply chains to foreign exchange rates, etc.

n

Bravo Apple!

n"},"link":"https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/17/tim-cook-says-silicon-valley-has-created-too-much-chaos/#comment-666034","type":"comment","author_avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/cf975637dd3cd06b8864278da3cec0d1?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/cf975637dd3cd06b8864278da3cec0d1?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/cf975637dd3cd06b8864278da3cec0d1?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"techcrunch":{"avatar":"https://ct.yimg.com/cy/1768/39361574426_98028a_64sq.jpg","company":"(no company found)","title":"(no title found)","user":"KJUPOG5D2O4RIBPCROJGRX5UAU"},"_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/666034"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments"}],"up":[{"embeddable":true,"post_type":"post","href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1845039"}],"in-reply-to":[{"embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/666031"}]}}]],"author":[{"id":7636871"name":"RomainDillet""url":"https://twittercom/romaindillet""description":"RomainDilletisaSeniorWriteratTechCrunchrnrnOriginallyfromFranceRomainattendedEMLYONBusinessSchoolaleadingFrenchbusinessschoolspecializedinentrepreneurshipHecoversmanythingsfrommobileappswithgreatdesigntofashionAppleAIandcomplextechachievementsHealsospeaksatmajortechconferencesHelikespopculturemorethananythingintheworldrnrnHenowlivesinPariswhenheu2019snotontheroadHeusedtoliveinNewYorkandlovedit""link":"https://techcrunchcom/author/romain-dillet/""slug":"romain-dillet""avatar_urls":{"24":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/2e71de62bf8a99d74a58f1546494fe82?s=24&d=identicon&r=g""48":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/2e71de62bf8a99d74a58f1546494fe82?s=48&d=identicon&r=g""96":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/2e71de62bf8a99d74a58f1546494fe82?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"}"links":{"twitter":"https://twittercom/romaindillet""linkedin":"https://wwwlinkedincom/in/romaindillet/""crunchbase":"https://wwwcrunchbasecom/person/romain-dillet"}"position":"SeniorWriter""cbDescription":"

Romain Dillet is a Senior Writer at TechCrunch.

nn

Originally from France, Romain attended EMLYON Business School, a leading French business school specialized in entrepreneurship. He covers many things from mobile apps with great design to privacy, security, fintech, Apple, AI and complex tech achievements. He also speaks at major tech conferences. He likes pop culture more than anything in the world.

nn

He now lives in Paris when he's not on the road. He used to live in New York and loved it.

nn

He owns small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

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STANFORD, CA – JUNE 16: Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during the 128th Stanford Univer sity commencement cer emony on June 16, 2019 in Stanford, California. (Photo by Liu Guanguan/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images)

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Alibaba is being heavily linked with a public listing in Hong Kongwhich could reportedly happen in Q3 and raise up to $20 billion. The firm is keeping quiet on those rumors, but it did let slip a major hint after it announced plans for a stock split.

n

Filings uploaded today (but originally released Friday) announced a proposal for a one-to-eight stock split.

n

Shareholders are invited to vote on the offer ahead of the company’s annual general meeting on July 15. The initiative has already been approved by Alibaba’s board, which is recommending that shareholders follow suit.

n

The particularly interesting part of the filing is where Alibaba explains the reasons behind the stock split.

n

“The Board of Directors is proposing the Share Subdivision to increase the flexibility for the Company in future capital market activities. Among other reasons, the one-to-eight share subdivision will increase the number of shares available for issuance at a lower per share price, and the Board of Directors believes that this will increase flexibility in the Companyu2019s capital raising activities, including the issuance of new shares,” the filing reads.

n

That would appear to clear the way for a second listing for the company, which went public in a record U.S. IPO that raised more than $20 billion in 2014.

n

Alibaba declined to provide further comment when we asked.

n

Reports last week suggested that the Chinese e-commerce giant has already filed initial paperwork for the listing, which would become the largest such float on the Hong Kong stock exchange. The city has become a destination for Chinese tech IPOs since relaxed listing rules came into effect two years ago. Ironically, a lack of flexibility was cited as a key reason why Alibaba picked the U.S. over Hong Kong for its 2014 listing.

n

Tech firms that have gone public in Hong Kong include RazerXiaomiTencent’s China Literature and selfie app company Meitu. Despite the hype, some of Hong Kong's suitability for technology companies, which are often not profitable at the time of listing, has been preserved. Indeed, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan previously warned that “the U.S. [public markets] are probably more cognizant of tech companies” than Hong Kong retail investors.

n","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Alibaba is being heavily linked with a public listing in Hong Kong, which could reportedly happen in Q3 and raise up to $20 billion. The firm is keeping quiet on those rumors, but it did let slip a major hint after it announced plans for a stock split. Filings uploaded today (but originally released Friday) […]

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Jon Russell has been a reporter for TechCrunch since 2014 covering all things tech in Asia, in particular the major players in China, India and Southeast Asia. Originally from the UK, he is based in Bangkok and has lived in Thailand since 2008. During that time, Jon has watched smartphones and the internet, most notably Facebook, completely change the daily life of people across Southeast Asia. That's pace of change is set to continue as tech and startups become all the more influential in the region, and that's what keeps Jon's interest and attention.

nn

You reach Jon via jr@techcrunch.com or use his PGP key. He's also active on Telegram (@jonrussell) and Twitter (@jonrussell) and he runs a weekly newsletter at Asiatechreview.com.

nn

Note: Jon owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life.

","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/ea9babfujmoiwhjfy16h","twitter":"jonrussell","_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/5956050"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users"}]}}],"author":[{"id":5956050"name":"JonRussell""url":"""description":"""link":"https://techcrunchcom/author/jon-russell/""slug":"jon-russell""avatar_urls":{"24":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/5f5876ccfd72ee5c2620b86429e8caf5?s=24&d=identicon&r=g""48":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/5f5876ccfd72ee5c2620b86429e8caf5?s=48&d=identicon&r=g""96":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/5f5876ccfd72ee5c2620b86429e8caf5?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"}"links":{"homepage":"http://asiatechreviewcom""twitter":"https://twittercom/jonrussell""linkedin":"http://thlinkedincom/in/jmarussell""crunchbase":"https://wwwcrunchbasecom/person/jon-russell-2"}"position":"Writer""cbDescription":"

Jon Russell has been a reporter for TechCrunch since 2014 covering all things tech in Asia, in particular the major players in China, India and Southeast Asia. Originally from the UK, he is based in Bangkok and has lived in Thailand since 2008. During that time, Jon has watched smartphones and the internet, most notably Facebook, completely change the daily life of people across Southeast Asia. That's pace of change is set to continue as tech and startups become all the more influential in the region, and that's what keeps Jon's interest and attention.

nn

You reach Jon via jr@techcrunch.com or use his PGP key. He's also active on Telegram (@jonrussell) and Twitter (@jonrussell) and he runs a weekly newsletter at Asiatechreview.com.

nn

Note: Jon owns a small amount of cryptocurrency. Enough to gain an understanding, not enough to change a life.

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HANGZHOU, March 21, 2016– People walk past a logo of China’s e-commerce giant Alibaba in Hangzhou, capital of east China’s Zhejiang Province, March 21, 2016. Alibaba China retail marketplaces real-time gross merchandize value in fiscal year 2016 reached three trillion RMB at 2:58 p.m. on March 21, 2016. This means Alibaba Group, China’s leading e-commerce company, might exceed Wal-Mart and become the world’s biggest retail platform in fiscal year 2016, according to analysis. (Xinhua/Wang Dingchang via Getty Images)

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n

Getting an H-1B skilled-worker visa is like winning the lottery u2014 literally: With the number of new visas issued each year capped at 85,000, most of this year’s over 200,000 applicants face disappointment. But if youu2019re already working in the United States, then youu2019ve already won the H-1B lottery, and that makes you a hot commodity.

n

With H-1Bs in short supply, successful companies frequently poach skilled workers. Everyone knows the tech sector thrives on this free exchange of people and ideas, so if another employer needs your skills, why not start working for them?

n

Well, not so fast. H-1B holders can work only for the company that originally sponsored their visa application. So if you want to change employers, youu2019ll need to u201ctransferu201d your H-1B.

n

That process used to be relatively straightforward but not in the Trump era. (Boundless recently underwent this process with an employee, so we understand the pain.) The denial rate for initial H-1B applications spiked over five-fold to 32 percent just in the first quarter of fiscal 2019, up from 6 percent in 2015. Crucially, the Trump administration is targeting u201ccontinuingu201d H-1B applications used by existing employees to either renew their H-1B or switch it to a new employer. Even tech giants like Amazon are now seeing double-digit rejection rates.

n

n

The bottom line: The days of getting an H-1B transfer quickly rubber-stamped are long gone, and that makes it vital to do whatever you can to keep the odds in your favor. The stakes are high u2014 if things go south, you could lose your right to live and work in the United States. Hereu2019s what H-1B holders need to know about the right u2014 and wrong u2014 ways to set about switching employers:

n

Donu2019t take your transfer for granted.

n

First, understand that an H-1B u201ctransferu201d is actually a brand new visa application, not a simple handover of your existing H-1B visa from one employer to another u2014 thereu2019s no such thing.

n

","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Getting an H-1B skilled-worker visa is like winning the lottery u2014 literally: With the number of new visas issued each year capped at 85,000, most of this year’s over 200,000 applicants face disappointment. But if youu2019re already working in the United States, then youu2019ve already won the H-1B lottery, and that makes you a hot commodity.

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2019-06-14T17:05:51","guid":{"rendered":"https://techcrunch.com/?p=1840990"},"modified":"2019-06-14T10:05:51","modified_gmt":"2019-06-14T17:05:51","slug":"how-to-make-remote-work-work","status":"publish","type":"post","link":"https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/14/how-to-make-remote-work-work/","t itle":{"rendered":"How to make remote work work"},"content":{"rendered":"

Every time I see a “the future of work is remote” article, I think to myself: “How backwards! How retro! How quaint!” That future is now, for many of us. I’ve been a fully remote developer-turned-CTO for a full decade. So I’m always baffled by people still wrestling with whether remote work is viable for their company. That jury rendered its verdict a long time ago.

n

One reason companies still struggle with it is that remote work amplifies the negative effects of bad practices. If everyone’s in one place, you can dither, handwave, vacillate, micromanage, and turn your workplace into an endless wasteland of unclear uncertainty, punctuated by ad-hoc last-second crisis meetings u2014 and your employees will probably still conspire against your counterproduction to get something done, albeit much less than what they’re capable of.

n

If they’re remote, though, progress via conspiracy and adhocracy is no longer an option. If they’re remote, you need decisive confidence, clear direction, iterative targets, independent responsibilities, asynchronous communications, and cheerful chatter. Let me go over each of those:

n

Decisive confidence. Suppose Vivek in Delhi, Diego in Rio, and Miles in Berlin are all on a project. (An example I’m drawing from my real life.) It’s late your time. You have to make a decision about the direction of their work. If you sleep on it, you’re writing off multiple developer-days of productivity.

n

Sometimes they have enough responsibilities to have other things to work on. (More on that below.) Sometimes you don’t have to make the decision because they have enough responsibility to do so themselves. (More on that below.) But sometimes you have to make the business-level decision based on scant information. In cases like this, remember the military maxim: “Any decision is better than no decision.”

n

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Every time I see a “the future of work is remote” article, I think to myself: “How backwards! How retro! How quaint!” That future is now, for many of us. I’ve been a fully remote developer-turned-CTO for a full decade. So I’m always baffled by people still wrestling with whether remote work is viable for […]

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Image via Getty Images / PayPau

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A number of promising women’s health tech companies have popped up in the last few years, from fertility apps to ovulation bracelets — even Apple has jumped into the subject with the addition of period tracking built into the latest edition of the watch. But there hasn’t been much in the way of innovation in women’s sexual health for decades.

n

In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is now a 40-year-old invention and even the top pharmaceutical companies have spent a pittance on research and development. Subjects like polycystic ovarian syndrome, endometriosis and menopause have taken a backseat to other, more fatal concerns. Fertility is itself oftentimes a mysterious black box as well, though a full 10% of the female population in the United States has difficulty getting or staying pregnant.

n

That’s all starting to change as startups are now bringing in millions in venture capital to gather and treat women’s health. While it’s early days (no unicorns just yet) interest in the subject has been jumping steadily higher each year.

n

To shine a better light on the importance of tech’s role in spurring more innovation for women’s fertility, we asked five VCs passionate about the space for their investment strategies, including Sarah Cone (Social Impact Capital), Vanessa Larco (NEA), Anu Duggal (Female Founders Fund), Jess Lee (Sequoia) and Nancy Brown (Oak HC/FT).

n

Sarah Cone, Social Impact Capital

n

Sarah Cone, Social Impact Capital

n

Weu2019re interested in companies that create large data sets in womenu2019s health and fertility, enabling personalized medicine, clinical trial virtualization, better patient outcomes, and the application of modern AI/ML techniques to generate hypotheses that discover new targets and mo lecules.

n

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A number of promising women’s health tech companies have popped up in the last few years, from fertility apps to ovulation bracelets — even Apple has jumped into the subject with the addition of period tracking built into the latest edition of the watch. But there hasn’t been much in the way of innovation in […]

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I write about the wild new frontier of biotechnology (3D printed organs, one drop blood tests, or hamburgers grown in a lab? I'm your gal), also a bit of politics, gender and diversity and sometimes they put me on camera at TechCrunch so send your fun gadgets and gizmos my way.

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itle":{"render ed":"Fundraising 101: Do VC associates matter?"},"content":{"rendered":"

Building a company is fueled by highs and lows, but one of the few moments of potential ecstasy (or perhaps for grizzled veterans, deep annoyance) is the VC outreach email. You are building your startup on deforming IKEA desks eating frozen dinners when out of nowhere, a major VC firm reaches out and wants to discuss a potential investment.

n

But then you look up your interlocutor online and find that they have that completely enigmatic title of u201cAssociate.u201d Heck, that email may well have been from me over the years.

n

What do you do? Do you connect with someone who may well be working at a prominent firm and try to engage? Do you flat out ignore it? Do you equivocate and delay?

n

In short, do VC associates matter to your fundraise?

n

First, what exactly are associates and what do they do?

n

The best way to understand the work of a venture firm is to look at their actual activities rather than the titles or listed duties of any individual person. On the investment side, there are three main activities: analytics, networking / deal sourcing, and closing.

n

","protected":false},"excerpt":{"rendered":"

Building a company is fueled by highs and lows, but one of the few moments of potential ecstasy (or perhaps for grizzled veterans, deep annoyance) is the VC outreach email. You are building your startup on deforming IKEA desks eating frozen dinners when out of nowhere, a major VC firm reaches out and wants to […]

n","protected":false},"author":15408904,"featured_media":1841458,"comment_status":"open","ping_status":"closed","sticky":false,"template":"","format":"standard","meta":{"outcome":"","status":"","crunchbase_tag":0,"amp_status":"","relegenceEntities":[],"relegenceSubjects":[],"jetpack_publicize_message":""},"categories":[576602978,20429,35394854],"tags":[576673265,20334,576673264],"crunchbase_tag":[],"tc_stories_tax":[],"tc_event":[],"jetpack_featured_media_url":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/GettyImages-88622588.jpg","jetpack_publicize_connections":[],"shortlink":"https://tcrn.ch/2MK9SzJ","rapidData":{"pt":"","pct":""},"featured":false,"subtitle":"","fundingRound":false,"seoTitle":"","seoDescription":"","premiumContent":true,"premiumCutoffPercent":0.12,"tc_cb_mapping":[],"associatedEvent" :null,"event":null,"authors":[1719192],"hideFeaturedImage":false,"relatedArticles":[],"_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1841449"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts"}],"about":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/types/post"}],"version-history":[{"count":4,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1841449/revisions"}],"predecessor-version":[{"id":1841462,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1841449/revisions/1841462"}],"authors":[{"embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/guest-authors/danny-crichton-2"}],"replies":[{"embeddable":true,"count":2,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments?post=1841449&order=asc&tc_hierarchical=flat"}],"https://techcrunch.com/edit":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1841449&action=edit"}],"author":[{"embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/tc/v1/users/15408904"}],"wp:featuredmedia":[{"embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media/1841458"}],"wp:attachment":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/media?parent=1841449"}],"wp:term":[{"taxonomy":"category","embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/categories?post=1841449"},{"taxonomy":"post_tag","embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tags?post=1841449"},{"taxonomy":"_tc_cb_tag_taxonomy","embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/crunchbase_tag?post=1841449"},{"taxonomy":"tc_stories_tax","embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_stories_tax?post=1841449"},{"taxonomy":"tc_event","embeddable":true,"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/tc_event?post=1841449"}],"curies":[{"name":"wp","href":"https://api.w.org/{rel}","templated":true}]},"_embedded":{"authors":[{"id":1719192"name":"DannyCrichton""link":"https://techcrunchcom/author/danny-crichton-2/""description":"DannyCrichtonisaninvestoratCRV and a former contributing writer at TechCrunch. ","slug":"danny-crichton-2","links":{"homepage":"https://www.dannycrichton.com","facebook":"http://www.facebook.com/dancric","twitter":"http://twitter.com/dannycrichton","linkedin":"http://www.linkedin.com/in/dannycrichton","crunchbase":"https://www.crunchbase.com/person/danny-crichton"},"position":"Contributor","cbDescription":"

Danny is Executive Editor of TechCrunch Extra Crunch, where he covers technology and power. Previously, he was a foreign correspondent at TechCrunch based in Seoul, South Korea as well as a venture capitalist with General Catalyst in Palo Alto and Charles River Ventures in Boston and New York. He was awarded a Fulbright research scholarship to South Korea, where he researched the development of Koreau2019s startup ecosystem. He is a PhD dropout from Harvard where he studied public policy and an honors graduate of Stanford, where he studied mathematical and computational sciences. Danny is based in Brooklyn.

nn

His ethics statement is located at https://www.dannycrichton.com/ethics/

","cbAvatar":"https://crunchbase-production-res.cloudinary.com/image/upload/kx43q415v57n7kc56gvq","twitter":"dannycrichton"}],"replies":[[{"id":665833"parent":0"author":0"author_name":"MariusChawa""author_url":"""date":"2019-06-14T01:07:47""content":{"rendered":"

totally agree. relationships are everything

n"},"link":"https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/12/fundraising-101-do-vc-associates-matter/#comment-665833","type":"comment","author_avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/4ca18687cfc6f19d03c826b6a35fac46?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/4ca18687cfc6f19d03c826b6a35fac46?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/4ca18687cfc6f19d03c826b6a35fac46?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"techcrunch":{"avatar":"https://ct.yimg.com/cy/1768/39361574426_98028a_64sq.jpg","company":"(no company found)","title":"(no title found)","user":"KPUAFPUPYWGEZ5SJBGTYKJIFXY"},"_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/665833"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments"}],"up":[{"embeddable":true,"post_type":"post","href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1841449"}]}},{"id":665838,"parent":0,"author":0,"author_name":"Derek Bittar","author_url":"","date":"2019-06-14T02:59:38","content":{"rendered":"

Entrepreneurs need to understand that VCs mean no offen ses in having associates in the frontlines. Associates make a GPs work scalable. They are the extension of the GPs work – usually very synergetic. So, beware not to underestimate an associateu2019s influence on an investment decision. Being arrogant may spoil your opportunity, no matter the size of the fund on the other side of the table.

n"},"link":"https://techcrunch.com/2019/06/12/fundraising-101-do-vc-associates-matter/#comment-665838","type":"comment","author_avatar_urls":{"24":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/448a8f70751354d8fa944d473e2cf674?s=24&d=identicon&r=g","48":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/448a8f70751354d8fa944d473e2cf674?s=48&d=identicon&r=g","96":"https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/448a8f70751354d8fa944d473e2cf674?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"},"techcrunch":{"avatar":"https://ct.yimg.com/cy/1768/39361574426_98028a_64sq.jpg","company":"(no company found)","title":"(no title found)","user":"COGLA7RR6E5WFXRGQ4WPPHPOXY"},"_links":{"self":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments/665838"}],"collection":[{"href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/comments"}],"up":[{"embeddable":true,"post_type":"post","href":"https://techcrunch.com/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/1841449"}]}}]],"author":[{"id":15408904"name":"DannyCrichton""url":"""description":"""link":"https://techcrunchcom/author/danny-crichton/""slug":"danny-crichton""avatar_urls":{"24":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/8c216d6030a712ef1dd35e2d6ffdf497?s=24&d=identicon&r=g""48":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/8c216d6030a712ef1dd35e2d6ffdf497?s=48&d=identicon&r=g""96":"https://securegravatarcom/avatar/8c216d6030a712ef1dd35e2d6ffdf497?s=96&d=identicon&r=g"}"links":{"homepage":"https://wwwdannycrichtoncom""facebook":"http://wwwfacebookcom/dancric""twitter":"https://twittercom/dannycrichton""linkedin":"http://wwwlinkedincom/in/dannycrichton""crunchbase":"https://wwwcrunchbasecom/person/danny-crichton"}"position":"EditorialManager""cbDescription":"

Danny is Executive Editor of TechCrunch Extra Crunch, where he covers technology and power. Previously, he was a foreign correspondent at TechCrunch based in Seoul, South Korea as well as a venture capitalist with General Catalyst in Palo Alto and Charles River Ventures in Boston and New York. He was awarded a Fulbright research scholarship to South Korea, where he researched the development of Koreau2019s startup ecosystem. He is a PhD dropout from Harvard where he studied public policy and an honors graduate of Stanford, where he studied mathematical and computational sciences. Danny is based in Brooklyn.

nn

His ethics statement is located at https://www.dannycrichton.com/ethics/

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future of car ownership: Building an online dealership"},"content":{"rendered":"

Buying a car is painful. Dealerships are the worst, and the options are endless. The rise of the Internet produced powerful tools for shoppers, but in the end, most buyers still have to trudge down to a car lot.

n

For this series of articles, TechCrunch spoke with several founders and investors attempting to rethink car buying. It’s clear these startups are the underdog in this fight. Most consumers buy cars the same way as their grandparents did and for good reason. Dealerships nationwide fought for years to enact laws and regulations that protect their businesses.

n

Several young companies are attempting to put the dealership online. Companies like Carvana, Shift, Vroom and Joydrive are putting the entire car buying process online, allowing customers to buy, trade-in and even test drive vehicles without talking to a salesman in an oversized golf pullover.

n

In the next part of this series, weu2019ll look at companies like Fair that are moving consumers away from purchasing and into short-term leases. Even automakers are trying something new. Tesla sells directly to consumers while Volvo, BMW, Mercedes and others are launching subscription options to give owners even more flexibility.

n

The three new dealerships

n

n

Several companies are building online car dealerships. Shoppers find and buy a vehicle solely through these sites, and often, the cars are delivered to the buyer. These online dealerships even take trade-ins.

n

Three services dominate this space, and they were all founded in 2013. Carvana, Shift, and Vroom hit the market at the same time but have experienced different paths. One thing is clear though: it takes hundreds of millions of venture capital money to build an online dealership.

n

Emily Melton, co-founder and managing partner, Threshold Ventures (formally known as DFJ Ventures), points to consumeru2019s changing expectations and an optimized process across all kinds of vehicles. She co-led Shiftu2019s Series A in 2014.

n

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He started at TechCrunch as a freelance writer in 2008 and moved up the ranks to become the Managing Editor in early 2017. Born and raised in the heart of the automotive world, he has a special place in his heart for mobility startups and gadgets.

nn

At TechCrunch he manages the editorial side of the company's events including TechCrunch Disrupt, TechCrunch Sessions and the company's various worldwide events. Previously he was a freelance writer at Engadget and EngadgetHD where he hosted podcasts until he was removed from that role after saying a swear word. He's very sorry and promises it won't happen again.

nn

His passions include emails, run-on sentences and following through with action items developed during a conference call. And woodwork.

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Matt is a Managing Editor at TechCrunch.

nn

He started at TechCrunch as a freelance writer in 2008 and moved up the ranks to become the Managing Editor in early 2017. Born and raised in the heart of the automotive world, he has a special place in his heart for mobility startups and gadgets.

nn

At TechCrunch he manages the editorial side of the company's events including TechCrunch Disrupt, TechCrunch Sessions and the company's various worldwide events. Previously he was a freelance writer at Engadget and EngadgetHD where he hosted podcasts until he was removed from that role after saying a swear word. He's very sorry and promises it won't happen again.

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His passions include emails, run-on sentences and following through with action items developed during a conference call. And woodwork.

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Facebook has finally revealed the details of its cryptocurrency Libra, which will let you buy things or send money to people with nearly zero fees. You’ll pseudonymously buy or cash out your Libra online or at local exchange points like grocery stores, and spend it using interoperable third-party wallet apps or Facebook’s own Calibra wallet that will be built into WhatsApp, Messenger, and its own app. Today Facebook released its white paper explaining Libra and its testnet for working out the kinks of its blockchain system before a public launch in the first half of 2020.

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Facebook won’t fully control Libra, but instead get just a single vote in its governance like other founding members of the Libra Association including Visa, Uber, and Andreessen Horowitz who’ve invested at least $10 million each into the project’s operations. The association will promote the open-sourced Libra blockchain and developer platform with its own Move programming language plus sign up businesses to accept Libra for payment and even give customers discounts or rewards.

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Facebook is launching a subsidiary company also called Calibra that handles its crypto dealings and protects users’ privacy by never mingling your Libra payments with your Facebook data so it can’t be used for ad targeting. Your real identity won’t be tied to your publicly visible transactions. But Facebook/Calibra and other founding members of the Libra Association will earn interest on the money users cash in that is held in reserve to keep the value of Libra stable.

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Facebook’s audacious bid to create a global digital currency that promotes financial inclusion for the unbanked actually has more privacy and decentralization built in than many expected. Instead of trying to dominate Libra’s future or squeeze tons of cash out of it immediately, Facebook is instead playing the long-game by pulling payments into its online domain. Facebook’s VP of blockchain David Marcus explains the company’s motive and the tie-in with its core revenue source, telling me “if more commerce happens, then more small business will sell more on and off platform, and they’lll want to buy more ads on the platform so it will be good for our ads business.”

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The Risk And Reward Of Building The New PayPal

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In cryptocurrencies, Facebook saw both a threat and an opportunity. They held the promise of disrupting how things are bought and sold by eliminating transaction fees common with credit cards. That comes dangerously close to Facebook’s ad business that influences what is bought and sold. If a competitor like Google or an upstart built a popular coin and could monitor the transactions, they’d learn what people buy and could muscle in on the billions spent on Facebook marketing. Meanwhile, the 1.7 billion people who lack a bank account might choose whoever offers them a financial services alternative as their online identity provider too. That’s another thing Facebook wants to be.

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Yet existing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum weren’t properly engineered to scale to be a medium of exchange. Their unanchored price was susceptible to huge and unpredictable swings, making it tough for merchants to accept as payment. And cryptocurrencies miss out on much of their potential beyond speculation unless there are enough places that will take them instead of dollars, and the experience of buying and spending them is easy enough for a mainstream audience. But with Facebook’s relationship with 7 million advertisers and 90 million small businesses plus its user experience prowess, it was well poised to tackle this juggernaut of a problem.

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Now Facebook wants to make Libra the evolution of PayPal. It’s hoping Libra will become simpler to set up, more ubiquitous as a payment method, more efficient with fewer fees, more accessible to the unbanked, more flexible thanks to developers, and more long-lasting through decentralization.

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“Success will mean that a person working abroad has a fast and simple way to send money to family back home, and a college student can pay their rent as easily as they can buy a coffee” Facebook writes in its Libra documentation. That would be a big improvement on today, when you’re stuck paying rent in insecure checks while exploitative remittance services like charge an average of 7% to send money abroad, taking $50 billion from users annually. Libra could also power tiny microtransactions worth just a few cents that are infeasible with credit card fees attached, or replace your pre-paid transit pass.

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…Or it could globally ignored by consumers who see it as too much hassle for too little reward, or too unfamiliar and limited in use to pull them into the modern financial landscape. Facebook has built a reputation for over-engineered, underused products. It will need all the help it can get if wants to replace what’s already in our pockets.

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How Does Libra Work?

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By now you know the basics of Libra. Cash in a local currency, get Libra, spend them like dollars without big transaction fees or your real name attached, cash them out whenver you want. Feel free to stop reading and share this article if that’s all you care about. But the underlying technology, the association that governs it, the wallets you’ll use, and the way payments work all have a huge amount of fascinating detail to them. Facebook has released over 100 pages of documentation on Libra and Calibra, and we’ve pulled out the most important facts. Let’s dive in.

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The Libra Association – Crypto’s New Oligarchy

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Facebook knew people wouldn’t trust it to wholly control the cryptocurrency they use, and it also wanted help to spur adoption. So Facebook recruited the founding members of the Libra Association, which oversees the development of the token, the reserve of real-world assets that gives it value, and the governance rules of the blockchain. Each founding member paid a minimum of $10 million to join and optionally become a validatory node operator (more on that later), gain one vote in the Libra Association council, and be entitled to a share (proportionate to their investment) of the dividends from interest earned on the Libra reserve users pay fiat currency into to receive Libra.

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The 28 soon-to-be founding members of the association and their industries, previously reported by The Block’s Frank Chaparroinclude:

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  • Payments: Mastercard, PayPal, PayU (Naspersu2019 fintech arm), Stripe, Visa
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  • Technology and marketplaces: Booking Holdings, eBay, Facebook/Calibra, Farfetch, Lyft, Mercado Pago, Spotify AB, Uber Technologies, Inc.
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  • Telecommunications: Iliad, Vodafone Group
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  • Blockchain: Anchorage, Bison Trails, Coinbase, Inc., Xapo Holdings Limited
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  • Venture Capit a l: Andreessen Horowitz, Breakthrough Initiatives, Ribbit Capital, Thrive Capital, Union Square Ventures
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  • Nonprofit and multilateral organizations, and academic institutions: Creative Destruction Lab, Kiva, Mercy Corps, Womenu2019s World Banking
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Facebook says it hopes to reach 100 founding members before the official Libra launch and it’s open to anyone that meets the requirements including direct competitors to like Google or Twitter.

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To join, members must have a half rack of server space, a 100mbps or above dedicated internet connection, a full-time site reliability engineer, and enterprise-grade security. Businesses must hit two of three thresholds of a $1 billion USD market value or $500 million in customer balances, reach 20 million people a year, and/or be recognized as a top 100 industry leader by a group like Interbrand Global or the S&P.

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Crypto-focused investors must have over $1 billion in assets under management, while Blockchain businesses must have been in business for a year, have enterprise grade security and privacy, and custody or staking greater than $100 million in assets. And only up to one-third of founding members can by crypto-related businesses or invidually invited exceptions. Facebook also accepts research organizations like universities, and non-profits fulfilling three of four qualties including working on financial inclusion for over five years, multi-national reach to lots of users, a top 100 designation by Charity Navigator or something like it, and/or $50 million in budget.

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The Libra Association will be responsible for picking recruiting more founding members to act as validator nodes for the blockchain, fundraising to jumpstart the ecosystem, designing incentive programs to reward early adopters, and doling out social impact grants. A council with a representative from each member will help choose the association’s managing director who will appoint an executive team, elect a board of 5 to 19 top representatives.

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Each member including Facebook/Calibra will only get up to one vote or 1% of the total vote (whichever is larger) in the Libra Association council. This provides a level of decentralization that protects against Facebook or any other player hijacking Libra for its own gain.

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The Libra Currency – A Stablecoin

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A Libra is a unit of the Libra cryptocurrency that’s represented by a three wavy horizontal line unicode character u224b like the dollar is represented by $. The value of a Libra is meant to stay largely stable so it’s a good medium of exchange since merchants can be confident they won’t be paid a Libra today that’s then worth less tomorrow. The Libra’s value is tied to a basket of bank deposits and short-term government securities for a slew of historically stable international currencies including the dollar, pound, europ, swiss franc, and yen. The Libra Association maintains this basket of assets and can change the balance of its composition if necessary to offset major price fluctuations in any one foreign currency so that the value of a Libra stays consistent.

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The Libra Association is still hammering out the exact start value for the Libra, but it’s meant to somewhere close to the value of a dollar, euro, or pound so it’s easy to conceptualize. That way, a gallon of milk in the US might cost 3 to 4 Libra, similar but not exactly the same as with dollars.

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The idea is that you’ll cash in some money and keep a balance of Libra that you can spend at accepting merchants and online services. You’ll be able to trade in your local currency for Libra and vice versa through certain wallet apps including Facebook’s Calibra, third-party wallet apps, and local resellers like convenience or grocery stores where people already go to top-up their mobile data plan.

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The Libra Reserve – One For One

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Each time someone cashes in a dollar or their respective local currency, that money goes into the Libra Reserve and an equivalent value of Libra is minted and doled out to that person. If someone cashes out from the Libra Association, the Libra they give back are destroyed/burned and they receive the equivalent value in their local currency back. That means there’s always 100% of the value of the Libra in circulation collateralized with real world assets in the Libra Reserve. It never runs fractional. And unliked “pegged” stable coins that are tied to a single currency like the USD, Libra maintains its own value — though that should cash out to roughly the same amount of a given currency over time.

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When Libra Association members join and pay their $10 million minimum, they receive Libra Investment Tokens. Their share of the total tokens translates into the proportion of the dividend they earn off of interest on assets in the reserve. Those dividends are only paid out after Libra Association uses interest to pay for operating expenses, investments in the ecosystem, engineering research, and grants to non-profits and other organizations. This interest is part of what attracted the Libra Association’s members. If Libra becomes popular and many people carry a large balance of the currency, the reserve will grow huge and earn significant interest.

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The Libra Blockchain – Built For Speed

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Every Libra payment is permanently written into the Libra blockchain — a cryptographically authenticated database that acts as a public online ledger designed to handle 1000 transactions per second. The blockchain is operated and constantly verified by founding members of the Libra Association who each invested $10 million or more for a say in the cryptocurrency’s governance and the ability operate a validator node.

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When a transaction is submitted, each of the nodes runs a calculation based on the existing ledger of all transactions. Thanks to a Byzantine Fault Tolerance system, just two-thirds of the nodes must come to consensus that the transaction is legitimate for it to be executed and written to the blockchain. A structure of Merkle Trees in the code makes it simple to recognize changes made to the Libra blockchain.

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Transactions on Libra cannot be reversed. If an attack compromises over one-third of the validator nodes causing a fork in the blockchain, the Libra Association says it will temporarily halt transactions, figure out the extent of the damaage, and recommend software updates to resolve the fork.

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Transactions aren’t entirely free. They incur a tiny fraction of a cent fee to pay for “gas” that covers the cost of processing the transfer of funds similar to with Ethereum. This fee will be negligible to most consumers, but when they add up the gas charges will deter bad actors from creating millions of transactions to power spam and denial-of-service attacks.

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Move Coding Language – For Moving Libra

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The Libra blockchain is open source with an Apache 2.0 license and any developer can build apps that work with it using the Move coding language. The blockchain’s prototype launches its testnet todayso it’s effectively in developer beta mode until it officially launches in the first half of 2020. The Libra Association is working with HackerOne to launch a bug bounty system later this year that will pay security researchers for safely identifying flaws and glitches. In the meantime, the Libra Association is implementing the Libra Core using the Rust programming language since it’s designed to prevent security vulnerabilities, and the Move language isn’t fully ready yet.

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Move was created to make it easier to write blockchain code that follows an author’s intent without introducing bugs. It’s called Move because its primary function is to move Libra coins from one account to another, and never let those assets be accidentally duplicated. The core transaction code looks like:

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LibraAccount.pay_from_sender(recipient_address, amount) procedure

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Eventually, Move will be able to create smart contracts for programmatic interactions with the Libra blockchain. Until Move is ready, developers can create modules and transaction scripts for Libra using Move IR, which is high-level enough to be human-readable but low-level enough to be translatable into real Move bytecode that’s written to the blockchain.

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The Libra ecosystem and the Move language will be completely open to use and build, which presents a sizable risk. Crooked developers could prey on crypto novices, claiming their app works just the same legitimate ones, and that it’s safe since it uses Libra. But if consumers get ripped off by these scammers, the anger will surely bubble up to Facebook. Even though it’s tried to distance itself sufficiently via its subsidiary Libra and the association, many people will probably always think of Libra as Facebook’s cryptocurrency and blame it for their woes.

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Using Libra In The Wild – Calibra

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So how do you actually own and spend Libra? Through Libra wallets like Facebook’s own Calibra and others that will be built by third-parties, potentially including Libra Association members like PayPal. The idea is to make sending money to a friend or paying for something as easy as sending a Facebook Message. You won’t be able to make or receive any real payments until the official launch next year, though.

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None of the Libra Association members agreed to provide details on what they’ll build on the blockchain, but we can take Facebook’s Calibra wallet as an example of the basic experience. Calibra will launch alongside the Libra currency on iOS and Android within Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and a standalone app. When users first sign up, they’ll be taken through a Know Your Customer anti-fraud process where they’ll have to provide a government issued photo ID and other verification info. They’ll need to conduct due diligence on customers and report suspicious activity to the authorities.

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From there you’ll be able to cash in to Libra, pick a friend or merchant, set an amount to send them and add a description, and send them Libra. You’ll also be able to request Libra. It’s also likely that Calibra will offer an expedited way of paying merchants, liking scanning your or their QR code.

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Privacy – At Least From Facebook

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg explained some of the philosophy behind Libra and Calibra in a post today. “It’s decentralized — meaning it’s run by many different organizations instead of just one, making the system fairer overall. It’s available to anyone with an internet connection and has low fees and costs. And it’s secured by cryptography which helps keep your money safe. This is an important part of our vision for a privacy-focused social platform — where you can interact in all the ways you’d want privately, from messaging to secure payments.”

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By default, Facebook won’t import your contacts or any of your profile information but may ask if you wish to do so. It also won’t share any of your transaction data back to Facebook, so it won’t used to target you with ads, rank your News Feed, or otherwise earn Facebook money directly. Data will only be shared in specific instances in aggregated, anonymized ways or due to a request from law enforcement.

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Today, Facebook is coming together with 27 organizations around the world to start the non-profit Libra Association and…

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Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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In case you are hacked, scammed, or lose access to your account, Calibra will refund you for lost coins when possible through 24/7 chat support. Given Calibra will likely become the default wallet for many Libra users, this extra protection is essential.

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For now, Calibra won’t make money. But Kevin Weil, the head of product for Facebook’s blockchain team, tells me that if it reaches scale, Facebook could launch other financial services through Calibra that it could monetize.

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A Global Coin

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If Facebook succeeds and legions of people cash in money for Libra, it and the other founding members of the Libra Association could earn big dividends on the interest. And if suddenly it becomes super quick to buy things through Facebook using Libra, businesses will boost their ad spend there. But if Libra gets hacked or proves unreliable, it could cost lots of people around the world money while souring them on cryptocurrencies. And by offering an open Libra platform, shady developers could build apps that snatch not just people’s personal info like Cambridge Analytica, but their hard-earned digital cash.

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Facebook just tried to reinvent money. Next year, we’ll see if the Libra Association pulls it off.

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Facebook has finally revealed the details of its cryptocurrency Libra, which will let you buy things or send money to people with nearly zero fees. You’ll pseudonymously buy or cash out your Libra online or at local exchange points like grocery stores, and spend it using interoperable third-party wallet apps or Facebook’s own Calibra wallet […]

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Previously, Constine was the Lead Writer of Inside Facebook through its acquisition by WebMediaBrands, covering everything about the social network.

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Constine graduated from Stanford University in 2009 with a Master's degree in Cybersociology, examining the influence of technology on social interaction. He researched the impact of privacy controls on the socialization of children, meme popularity cycles, and what influences the click through rate of links posted to Twitter.

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Constine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.

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Josh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has moderated over 120 on-stage interviews in 15 countries with leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via on-stage video conference), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He is available to moderate panels and fireside chats, deliver keynotes, and judge hackathon and pitch competitions.

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Constine has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television, and Fox News. Constine is ranked as the #1 most cited tech journalist on prestigious news aggregator Techmeme.

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[Disclosures: Josh Constine temporarily advised a college friend's social location-sharing startup codenamed 'Signal' that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch's editors and has concluded. Constine's fiancu00e9e Andee Gardiner co-founded startup accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine's cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of influencer advertising startup Niche that was acquired by Twitter, and he's since left and founded teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents' estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]

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Constine also received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from Stanford University in 2007, with a concentration in Social Psychology & Interpersonal Processes.

nn

Josh Constine is an experienced public speaker, and has moderated over 120 on-stage interviews in 15 countries with leaders including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whistleblower Edward Snowden (via on-stage video conference), and U.S. Senator Cory Booker. He is available to moderate panels and fireside chats, deliver keynotes, and judge hackathon and pitch competitions.

nn

Constine has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, CNN Money, The Atlantic, BBC World Magazine, Slate, and more, plus has been featured on television on Good Morning, America, The Today Show, China Central Television, and Fox News. Constine is ranked as the #1 most cited tech journalist on prestigious news aggregator Techmeme.

nn

[Disclosures: Josh Constine temporarily advised a college friend's social location-sharing startup codenamed 'Signal' that was based in San Francisco before dissolving in 2015. This advising role was cleared with AOL and TechCrunch's editors and has concluded. Constine's fiancu00e9e Andee Gardiner co-founded startup accelerator Founders Embassy. Constine's cousin Darren Lachtman is the founder of influencer advertising startup Niche that was acquired by Twitter, and he's since left and founded teen content studio Brat. Constine does not write about Founders Embassy or Brat. Constine has personal acquaintances stemming from college housing circa 2007 with founders at Skybox Imaging (now Terra Bella), Hustle, Snapchat, and Robinhood, but does not maintain close social ties with them nor does that influence his writing. Constine occasionally does paid speaking engagements at conferences, but only those funded by companies he does not cover. Constine owns a small position in Ethereum and Bitcoin cryptocurrencies, does not day-trade, and discloses his positions directly in articles where appropriate. Constine does not do consulting, angel investing, or public stock trading beyond public stock invesments by his parents' estate that he has no role in managing or advising.]

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