Social media giant Facebook is expected to reveal its new digital cryptocurrency next week, backed by Visa, Mastercard, Uber, and others.
The Wall Street Journal reports that social media giant Facebook plans to reveal its new Libra digital cryptocurrency next week with backing from over a dozen other companies. Visa and Mastercard are reportedly quite invested in the currency while other Silicon Valley firms such as PayPal, Uber, Stripe, and Booking.com are fully supporting the currency.
Each of these firms will invest around$10 million to fund further development of the currency and become part of the Libra Association. The association will act as an independent group which will govern the coin independently from Facebook. The involvement of Visa and Mastercard is interesting as cryptocurrency can act as a viable alternative to the services offered by these firms and could be direct competition, some have suggested that the firm’s involvement is an attempt to keep track of Facebook’s currency, while others have implied alternative motivations.
Byrne and Storm lawyer Preston Byrne suggested that the firm’s involvement is due to the greater access they can gain to Facebook’s user data.
Keep in mind that these entities are each paying $10 million for the privilege of running a node aka unlimited access to transactional data. What this announcement *actually* means is that now Visa, MC, PayPal *and* Facebook are *each* getting unfettered access to users' data. https://t.co/a5g4XPRUVz
— Preston Byrne (@prestonjbyrne) June 13, 2019
The cryptocurrency is reported to be called Libra and will be revealed on June 18, with plans to release the coin fully in 2020. It’s expected to act as a “stablecoin” meaning its value will be attached to a number of government-issued currencies in order to limit the volatility of the value of the coin; an issue which Bitcoin has faced for some time.
Users will be able to send Libra via Facebook products such as WhatsApp and Messenger, reports also claim that a number of partnerships with online retailers will allow users to spend the coin in many locations online. Facebook is reportedly also considering developing ATM-like physical machines in which people can convert their regular money into Libra.
Previously Libra was announced as “GlobalCoin.”