Facebook is planning to launch its own form of cryptocurrency, “GlobalCoin,” by the first quarter of 2020.
According to a new report from BBC, the goal of the highly secretive stablecoin, which Facebook staff have cryptically taken to calling “Project Libra,” will reportedly be to compete with banks and function as a global, online payments system with dramatically reduced fees.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly met Bank of England governor Mark Carney last month to discuss the prospects and risks involved in its cryptocurrency launch.
Aside from this, the firm has reportedly consulted with United States Treasury officials on operational and regulatory matters — in particular in regard to identity checks procedures and mitigating money laundering risks, the BBC claims.
The digital currency is expected to provide an affordable and secure means for making payments for everyone, even for those who don’t have a bank account. Given Facebook’s global reach, it would certainly be in a position to do so. Plus, as the owner of WhatsApp and Instagram, the social media giant would have an immediate and large customer base spanning billions of consumers around the world.
Project Libra will apparently partner with banks and brokers across the globe to allow consumers to exchange FIAT for the GlobalCoin. In order to help facilitate those operations, the company is setting up an office in Switzerland to oversee the project. Facebook is also in talks with eCommerce retailers to work deals to have those accept the currency in exchange for lower transaction fees.
The coin has been in the making for months, with Facebook having ramped up its hiring efforts to build a blockchain team of over 30 people by the end of 2018, working at breakneck speed. Earlier this month, the firm also registered a fintech network in Geneva and lifted a ban on crypto ads on its site.