By the time you read this, the world will know more. Wide speculation is that Tuesday, June 18, 2019 is the date for Facebook to release a white paper on its launch of Libra, a cryptocurrency consortium, already a year in the planning.
On the eve of the announcement, analysts are calling it “a major initiative” and “the biggest thing that’s happened at Facebook for years.”
It’s a bid to bring virtual currency into the mainstream while avoiding the ups and downs blockchain technologies such as Bitcoin.
The concept behind Libra, as with WeChat, is that consumers would use digital currency to make payments around the internet, including on Facebook.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency will be transferrable with zero fees via Facebook products including Messenger and WhatsApp. Facebook is working with merchants to accept the token as payment, and may offer sign-up bonuses. The Information, a tech publication, reports Facebook also wants to roll out physical devices for ATMs so users can exchange traditional assets for the cryptocurrency.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Libra has been joined by more than a dozen companies—at the tune of $10 million investment each—including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Uber and Booking.com.
As we go to press, a launch is set for June 18, 2019. The internet is full of explanatory articles, here’s one from TechCrunch.