So having conquered social networking, Zuckerberg has his eyes on something bigger: reshaping the global financial system.

Payment services from rivals like Apple and Google essentially offer an improved user interface for conventional credit card networks.

Facebook, by contrast, is aiming to use blockchain-like technology to build a new payment network from scratch, complete with its own currency.

Facebook is months away—at least—from actually launching a network.

By contrast, participation in Libra's transaction clearing process will be limited to a few dozen pre-approved organizations that are members of the Libra Association: those are the partners like Visa, MasterCard, and Uber we mentioned at the start of this story.

Libra will support smart contracts—eventually

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