Facebook prepares for launch of digital currency

Berlin: US social media giant Facebook is preparing to step into the world of finance with a new digital currency.
Similar to Bitcoin, the digital currency Facebook has devised is based on blockchain technology, but is meant to exist without being subject to price fluctuations.
Facebook will have no access to transaction data, said David Marcus, project manager for the currency, which is named Libra.
Initially, the Libra system will be used mainly for transfers between different currencies, Marcus told dpa. The longer-term vision, however, is to make Libra a full-fledged means of payment.
To achieve that goal Facebook forged an alliance – the LibraAssociation based in Geneva, Switzerland. Among its current 28members are financial service providers Visa, Mastercard and Paypal, high-profile companies that that can facilitate the integration of Libya into payment systems.
In addition, the companies Vodafone and eBay, the travel platformBooking.com and the top music-streaming app Spotify are on board as are ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft.
Marcus hopes the Libra Association will have more than 100 members by the planned launch of the currency next year. He stressed that neither Facebook nor any single company will control or operate it.
Blockchain currencies like Bitcoin are infamous for massive price swings, which is something Facebook desperately wanted to avoid in crafting Libra. Therefore Libra will be fully covered by a reserve fund made up of different currencies.

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