Facebook reportedly plans to release its GlobalCoin cryptocurrency later this month, and will hand over control of it to an independent foundation. GlobalCoin, which is intended to rival Bitcoin, is the fruit of Facebook’s development, linked to a project dubbed Libra in concert with financial and technology partners. GlobalCoin is likely to target developing countries with unstable currencies and will be pegged to the U.S. dollar. Facebook will purportedly integrate GlobalCoin on WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram.
Forbes reports that, “people will also be able to buy the digital token through physical ATM-like machines, while Facebook employees working on the project will be able to take their salary in the new currency.” The news did not have a discernible impact on Bitcoin price. Last month, news broke that Facebook’s GlobalCoin “would be rolled out for testing by the end of 2018, with plans to launch it in 2020 in up to a dozen countries around the world.”
According to the BBC, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg met with Bank of England governor Mark Carney “to discuss how a Facebook version of bitcoin might work and the risks and regulation involved.” Zuckerberg “appears to be more interested in supplanting bitcoin than developing it,” a position that is “vastly different” from that held by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey.
Industry experts began predicting that Facebook was interested in “broader financial services” when the company hired PayPal president David Marcus in 2014. Marcus subsequently became the head of Facebook’s blockchain division. Some in the bitcoin/cryptocurrency arena have been emboldened by Facebook’s moves, with one venture capitalist saying the recent news has “lit a fire in the pants of every major [financial technology] and financial institution.”
The Information (subscription required), which was first to break news of Facebook’s latest moves with GlobalCoin, reports that, “in recent months, the social network has courted dozens of financial institutions and other tech companies to join an independent foundation that will contribute capital and help govern the digital currency.”
Facebook Plans June 18th Cryptocurrency Debut. Here’s What We Know, TechCrunch, 6/6/19