Effort could be crypto’s most mainstream application to date
Facebook Inc. is recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants to help launch a cryptocurrency-based payments system on the back of its gigantic social network.
The effort, should it succeed, threatens to upend the traditional, lucrative plumbing of e-commerce and would likely be the most mainstream application yet of cryptocurrency. It comes as the social-media giant is under intense pressure from regulators, users and shareholders to address privacy shortcomings.
At the heart of the initiative, under way for more than a year and code-named Project Libra, is a digital coin that its users could send to each other and use to make purchases both on Facebook and across the internet, according to people familiar with the matter.
Facebook’s FB, -0.81% secretive plans for a new payments system involve both investments from traditional financial firms and the potential for users to be rewarded for their activity on the platform. Hurdles to the project are high. Cyptocurrencies have so far failed to catch on in payments. The existing system is full of entrenched interests and technology clogs. And Facebook’s battered standing with users, investors and regulators make it a delicate time to plow into new territory.
Working in its favor: One-third of the world’s people log on monthly to Facebook, and they all need to buy things.
Date: May 09, 2019
Source: Market Watch