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Facebook will reportedly launch cryptocurrency 'GlobalCoin' in 2020

Ellen Cranley , Business Insider US
 May 26, 2019, 12:27 PM
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • Facebook is reportedly developing a digital payments system that will be rolled out in several countries by the first quarter of 2020.
  • The BBC reported the company has been holding meetings with trading firms and officials before it hopes to start testing "GlobalCoin" by the end of 2019.
  • Multiple reports have tracked the company's meetings with banks, firms, and online merchants ahead of the announcement of the digital currency since it was first reported in December 2018.
  • For more stories, go to the Business Insider SA home page.

Facebook is developing a digital payments system that will be rolled out in several countries by the first quarter of 2020, according to the BBC.

The report said the company hopes to start testing "GlobalCoin" by the end of 2019 and more details are expected to be released this summer.

The social media giant has reportedly met with multiple high-frequency trading firms, cryptocurrency exchanges, and bank officials in recent months to pave digital infrastructure security of digital coins, and users' ability to exchange them for other cryptocurrencies or conventional currencies, and make payments.

Reports have closely watched such meetings after Facebook's plans for a digital currency were first reported in December 2018.

The secretive initiative has so far been code-named "Project Libra," and will reportedly roll out in conjunction with banks and brokers to connect the digital currencies with conventional currencies across the world and pass as payment with select online merchants in exchange for lower transaction fees.

Barclays internet analyst Ross Sandler said in March the cryptocurrency could add as much as $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021 to the company.

The news comes after the Financial Times reported that representatives from Facebook and the Winklevoss twins' Gemini cryptocurrency exchange have held talks about the social-media giant's planned digital coin.

This marks the company's second venture into cryptocurrency, nearly 10 years after digital currency Facebook Credits was shut down after an unsuccessful two years.

Reports of a Facebook coin lifted cryptocurrencies on Friday. Bitcoin climbed 5% to around $7,960, while ethereum and bitcoin cash jumped about 7% and litecoin surged 11%.

Theron Mohamed contributed reporting.

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