Facebook is finalising a digital payments system called "GlobalCoin", which is expected to be available across 12 countries by the start of 2020.
The digital currency, which internally is called Globalcoin and was first reported past year, would enable users to pay for items online or in the real world, as well as to send money to others without the need for a bank account.
Facebook has also apparently sought for advice from officials of the U.S. Treasury and the Bank of England governor Mark Carney regarding opportunities and regulatory issues for the initiative, which is internally referred to as "Project Libra". Late last week, Reuters reported that Facebook had formed a new financial technology company in Switzerland, called Libra Networks. The company is also in talks with the USA government and the Treasury to get the specific permissions and to make sure the platform is not used for money laundering.
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Really a cryptocurrency? Even if Facebook's new digital currency were to use cryptography and some form of a blockchain, many enthusiasts have been quick to dismiss this project's association with the term "cryptocurrency" as a marketing ploy. The social media giant is also in discussions with Western Union to provide cheaper remittance alternatives for the unbanked population.
Bloomberg reported in December that Facebook is developing a so-called stablecoin, a digital currency whose value is pegged to fiat currency like the USA dollar.
This comes after the social media giant was criticised for mishandling of user data and led to the US Senate asking the CEO how the digital currency will work and what protections will be offered.