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Facebook to launch its Bitcoin rival as soon as this month

Published Jun 7th, 2019 9:03PM EDT
Facebook Libra Token
Image: Richard Drew/AP/Shutterstock

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Facebook has been working on its own cryptocurrency for quite a while now, and it looks like the company is seeking to unveil its product as soon as its month.

Libra, the Facebook-made Bitcoin rival, will not actually be similar to Bitcoin, just in case you’re already thinking about investing in it and waiting for it to pop. Instead, it’ll be tethered to actual currency, the US dollar, reports have claimed, which means that it will always have the same value. The Facebook coin will be available online in Facebook’s apps, but also in other places, as long as merchants decide to support it.

More interestingly, Facebook plans to cede control of the cryptocurrency to an outside foundation The Information reports (via The Verge) to alleviate concerns that one would have to trust Facebook with even more incredibly sensitive data. Facebook “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 has been working with governments to get approval for the coin and it will intensify efforts on fraud prevention, which means you can expect “more stringent forms of identity verification.” Libra also targets “developing nations where government-backed currencies are more volatile,” The Information noted, and Facebook is planning ATM terminals for the token.

What’s interesting is that Facebook will pay those employees working on Libra directly in cryptocurrency rather than actual money, if they so desire. But not everybody at Facebook is as excited about crypto as Mark Zuckerberg, the report notes. Both Sheryl Sandberg and David Wehner, Facebook’s COO and CFO, respectively, have expressed their reservations internally.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.