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Facebook announces new cryptocurrency

Facebook’s office in Cambridge, Mass. Associated Press/Photo by Elise Amendola (file)

Facebook announces new cryptocurrency

Facebook unveiled plans on Tuesday for its own new bitcoin-like cryptocurrency called Libra. Companies such as Lyft, MasterCard, Spotify, Uber, Visa, and others are joining the social media giant in the Libra Association, a Swiss-based council that will give each company one vote in the administration of the currency, Facebook explained in a white paper. Each of those companies would almost certainly accept the new currency after its release. “Libra’s mission is to enable a simple global currency and financial infrastructure that empowers billions of people,” David Marcus, co-creator of the currency, said in a Twitter thread. “It’s time to try something new for the 1.7 billion people who are still unbanked 30 years after the invention of the web.”

The currency is scheduled for release in the next six to 12 months. Facebook is trying to raise as much as $1 billion to support the launch. Libra will be based on a mix of assets, including real-world currencies like the U.S. dollar and the euro, to try and avoid the instability that affects other cryptocurrencies like bitcoins. But the new money will also raise privacy concerns, especially considering its parent company’s track record of not safeguarding user data.

Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a former WORLD Digital news reporter. He is a World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College graduate.


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