Facebook has revealed its plans for a new digital currency which it says will allow people to make instant and almost free money transfers to people and businesses anywhere in the world from their mobile phones.
The new digital coin, Libra, has the backing of over 24 companies including household names like Visa, Mastercard and Spotify.
Rosie Burbidge, Partner at gunnercooke and blockchain specialist, said the news is a sign that use of cryptocurrency is becoming more acceptable and entering the mainstream. While Facebook has a terrific user base and the right tools to make this happen, given Facebook’s recent data protection and privacy issues it is inevitable that regulators, particularly in the EU, will be looking at this development very closely.
“This has been in the pipeline for a while and it fits in with Facebook’s longer term strategy to move into areas like retail and traditional media (in addition to social media). An important feature of Facebook’s Libra currency is that it is pegged to fiat currencies. So while Bitcoin has suffered from massive currency fluctuations, Facebook’s approach should avoid those ups and downs.”