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Facebook's Libra is building cryptocurrency tied to US dollar

Libra is the social network's internal project name for the digital currency

Sunday May 19, 2019 5:54 PM, IANS

Facebook Coin

San Francisco: Giving its cryptocurrency dream a firm beginning, Facebook has reportedly set up a company called Libra Networks in Switzerland that is developing payments and Blockchain systems for the social networking giant.

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 late on Saturday.

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.

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.

"Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of Blockchain technology," Facebook had insisted.

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.

"I'm thinking about going back to decentralised or Blockchain authentication. Although I haven't figured out a way to make this work out but this is around authentication and basically granting access to your information and to different services," Zuckerberg told Zittrain.

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

Facebook has over 2.38 billion users globally and launching cryptocurrency will allow them make payments using a virtual currency like Bitcoin.

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