Facebook is getting ready to launch its own form of currency.
On Tuesday, the social network released its plan to create a new digital currency, which would be similar to Bitcoin and be available globally. The currency would also push more e-commerce on its services and boost ads on its platforms, Huffington Post reports. To launch the new system, Facebook will be partnering with PayPal, Uber, Spotify, Visa, and Mastercard. However, this could complicate things for Facebook, as it is currently under federal investigation over its privacy practices. In addition, the network that hosts communication for over two billion people is facing a new antitrust probe in Congress.
Facebook intends to launch the new currency, named Libra, within the next six to 12 months. Reports show the business venture is being supported by over 20 partners who will help fund. According to company officials, Libra money will be able to be sent without incurring fees, and could possibly open up online commerce for those who don’t have bank accounts. “If you fast forward a number of years, consumers all over the world will have the ability to access the world economy,” Facebook executive David Marcus said in an interview with The Associated Press.
The network doesn’t intend on running the company directly. Instead, it will form a non-profit group of partners called the Libra association, which will be headquartered in Geneva. Swiss financial authorities will regulate the association, Facebook said. “No single company should operate this,” Marcus said. “It should be a public good.”