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Facebook to Launch its Cryptocurrency Next Year: Report

According to Zuckerberg, Blockchain could give users more powers when granting data access to third-party apps

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Facebook, data,photos
A television photographer shoots the sign outside of Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. VOA

Facebook, which owns WhatsApp and Instagram, is gearing up to launch its own cryptocurrency next year, the BBC reported on Friday.

Called “GlobalCoin,” the cryptocurrency would work with a new digital payments system in about a dozen countries starting in the first quarter of 2020.

Facebook has been in contact with US and British financial regulators to launch it.

According to the BBC, Facebook is in touch with “Bank of England governor Mark Carney and officials at the US Treasury”.

With over two billion users across its platforms, Facebook could emulate WeChat in China which allows its users to chat, shop and play games without leaving its platform.

The Facebook cryptocurrency would need to overcome numerous technical and regulatory hurdles before it can be launched.

According to media reports, the Facebook currency could be designed to be a “stablecoin” with a value pegged to US currency in an attempt to minimize volatility.

A report last week said Facebook has reportedly set up a company called Libra Networks in Switzerland that is developing payments and Blockchain systems for the social networking giant.

virtual currencies, bitcoin, investors
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and worldwide payment system. Wikimedia Commons

According to a report in CNET quoting Swiss publication Handelszeitung, the Facebook cyrptocurrency would be tied to the US dollar and could, therefore, remain stable unlike Bitcoin which has crashed.

“Facebook set up Libra Networks in Geneva several weeks ago. Libra is the social network’s internal project name for the digital currency,” the report said.

The Swiss company would focus on developing the software and hardware for currency-related functions like payments, Blockchain, analytics, big data and identity management.

Facebook declined to comment on the new report.

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According to a report in The Wall Street Journal earlier this month, the social media giant is “recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants” towards its cryptocurrency-based system that would use a digital coin similar to Bitcoin.

The New York Times reported in February that Facebook had a team of 50 people working on its virtual currency project.

In a public interview with Harvard Law professor Jonathan Zittrain in February, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he is “potentially interested” in putting the Facebook login on the Blockchain technology.

According to Zuckerberg, Blockchain could give users more powers when granting data access to third-party apps. (IANS)

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Facebook Ready to Launch a Dedicated News Tab on its Platform

Zuckerberg last week stressed that his platform has now become a 'Fifth Estate' in the world alongside traditional news media and people no longer have to rely on traditional gatekeepers in politics or media to make their voices heard

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Corporate, America, Climate Change
FILE - In this April 30, 2019, file photo, Facebook stickers are laid out on a table at F8, Facebook's developer conference in San Jose, Calif. The Boston-based renewable energy developer Longroad Energy announced in May that Facebook is building a… VOA

Calling itself a ‘Fifth Estate’, Facebook has reportedly entered into deals with prominent media houses to launch a dedicated news tab on its platform.

According to the Wall Street Journal, publications like News Corp, Dow Jones, New York Post, the Washington Post and others will help the social networking platform ramp up its ambition to become a news player.

“The New York Times has been in talks with Facebook, but a spokeswoman for the paper declined to comment on whether it had reached a deal,” the report said on Sunday.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about a news section on its platform in April.

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The section would reportedly be free for users, though Facebook might pay publishers whose work is featured.

Facebook is in talks with news publishers to offer as much as $3 million for the rights to publish content on its upcoming news tab.

facebook, WhatsApp, stories, feature
An iPhone displays the app for Facebook in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. VOA

“It’s important to me that we help people get trustworthy news and find solutions that help journalists around the world do their important work,” Zuckerberg wrote in a recent post.

Facebook could “potentially have a direct relationship with publishers to make sure that their content is available, if it is really a high-quality content”, he added.

Algorithms and human editors will decide what new content will appear for the users.AThere will be a breaking news section with 10 of the “top” stories of the moment.

Facebook has announced other initiatives to support journalists, including a pledge to invest $300 million in local newsrooms and grants for people with ideas to improve the quality of news.

Zuckerberg last week stressed that his platform has now become a ‘Fifth Estate’ in the world alongside traditional news media and people no longer have to rely on traditional gatekeepers in politics or media to make their voices heard.

“People no longer have to rely on traditional gatekeepers in politics or media to make their voices heard, and that has important consequences,” he said. (IANS)