CALIFORNIA – The world’s biggest social networking platform Facebook has confirmed it will launch a global cryptocurrency known as Libra in 2020.
The revelation comes on the back of numerous reports unraveling its announcement in detail, and it was on Tuesday that its in-development global cryptocurrency, called Libra, will launch next year alongside the underlying blockchain-based network that will support it.
It is reported that Libra has been joined by more than a dozen companies including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and Uber.
According to The Verge website, the currency is designed not to be a speculative asset, like Bitcoin, but a form of digital money backed by a reserve of assets.
It is also reported that consumers will one day be able to use Libra as payment for online and offline services, Facebook executives said.
Although the company imagines Libra will be used mainly to transfer money between individuals in developing countries who lack access to traditional banks, the main goal is to create the first truly mainstream cryptocurrency that can be used to buy almost anything, and can support an entire range of financial products — from banking to loans to credit.
According to Libra’s newly-hired head of policy and communications officer Dante Disparte, the goal is to improve financial inclusion.
“The goal really is to improve financial inclusion and do to the transfer of value and payments what the internet has done to the transfer of communication and information,” he told The Verge.
In addition, while the Libra Association will have members based globally, it will be headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
Facebook announced it was launching GlobalCoin in December 2018, but the company indicated that it was looking at cryptocurrency as far back as the end of 2017.
Meanwhile, the crypto is expected to be a stable coin that will operate within the company’s messaging infrastructure – WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger.
Resulting from the announcement on Tuesday, Facebook shares rose in premarket trading with the company’s stock climbing 1.7% in premarket trading from Monday’s close of $189.01 a share.
Libra is another step in CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recently laid out plan to expand Facebook’s e-commerce offerings.