Visa, Uber and PayPal are reportedly backing Facebook’s Cryptocurrency

Visa, Uber and PayPal are reportedly backing Facebook’s Cryptocurrency

After months of rumours, it appears a Facebook cryptocurrency is imminent. Reports last week said its planned launch is slated for June 18, and now it appears that the cryptocurrency, Libra, has some legit backers, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Initial reports stated Facebook put out a call (and a $US10 million [$15 million] fee) for any third-party organisation interested in joining a consortium to manage its proposed cryptocurrency. The WSJ reports that among those that bought in are Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Uber, Stripe, and MercadoLibre, an Argentinian e-commerce site.

Facebook is supposedly looking for $US1 billion ($1.5 billion) to fund the currency, which will be a stablecoin — a type of cryptocurrency pegged to traditional, government-backed currency in order to mitigate volatility.

Legitimate payment institutions buying in to the currency is big for Facebook. With all the negative press behind its handling of privacy, getting well-known backers is a de facto endorsement that lends it an air of credibility.

Still, ahead of Libra’s launch, details are still fuzzy when it comes to how the consortium will operate, how the coin works, and how easy it will be to overcome strict regulatory hurdles in most economically advanced nations.

An early Bloomberg report from last year suggested that Libra was intended for emerging markets — where Facebook’s WhatsApp is popular, remittances are common, the government-backed currency can be volatile, and there’s a decent percentage of the population that’s bank-less.

That jives with leaks from last week that stated users who send money via WhatsApp or Messenger will incur zero fees.

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Source: Visa, Uber And PayPal Are Reportedly Backing Facebook’s Cryptocurrency | Gizmodo Australia