In brief: With Facebook about to launch its new cryptocurrency, the social network has secured more than a dozen big-name backers to support its venture, according to a new report.
We first heard that Facebook might be developing its own virtual coin, referred to internally as GlobalCoin, over a year ago, though it had been investigating potential uses for blockchain technology since 2017. A new report by the Wall Street Journal states that the crypto will debut as soon as next week and will be supported by more than a dozen companies including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and Uber Technologies. Stripe, Booking.com, and MercadoLibre are also part of the project.
The publication writes that each firm will invest around $10 million into a consortium that will govern the effort.
It’s been reported that Facebook’s crypto is a stablecoin, meaning it is pegged to the value of an underlying asset, usually government-issued currencies such as the US dollar. It will operate within Facebook’s messaging infrastructure, which covers WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger.
Exactly what GlobalCoin will be used for is still uncertain, even some of the partners don’t know. “It is still not entirely clear, even to some members of the consortium, how the coin will work or what their roles will be,” wrote the Journal.
The BBC writes that GlobalCoin will provide an affordable and secure way of making payments, regardless of whether users have a bank account. Facebook is said to be in talks with online merchants in the hope they’ll accept the crypto in return for lower transaction fees.
Facebook is expected to unveil GlobalCoin on June 18.