Facebook has signed on a number of high-profile companies including Uber, Stripe and Booking.com to support its blockchain project, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has reported. Each will invest roughly $10 million to support the development of the new cryptocurrency, Libra.
According to the WSJ, investors will become part of the Libra Association, an independent consortium to govern the digital coin independently of Facebook. Facebook, Mastercard, Paypal, Visa and Uber have not commented on it yet.
Libra is expected to work as a stable coin, which means it will be pegged to a basket of government-issued currencies in a bid to limit volatility. Facebook hopes to attract users in developing countries by providing them with a stable alternative currency.
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With more than 2.3 billion users globally, the social media network could provide a platform for marketing the digital token on a scale no other currency has had.
In addition to enabling users to send money via the company’s messaging platforms, Facebook’s partnerships with e-commerce businesses will allow users to spend Libra online.
Reportedly, Facebook is considering developing ATM-like physical terminals for people to convert their money into Libra. But, before the company can launch into this latest venture it will have to overcome a number of regulatory hurdles. It will also need to address concerns around fraud and money laundering.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency project got underway a year ago, when David Marcus, the former president of Paypal joined the company to lead the project.
Last month, Facebook incorporated a separate business in Switzerland called Libra Networks, according to public listings first reported by Reuters.
Libra Networks will focus on “investing, payments, financing, identity management, analytics, ig data, blockchain and other technologies”.