Facebook has unveiled an ambitious plan this week to create an alternative financial system that relies on cryptocurrency.
The effort, announced with 27 partners including Mastercard and Uber, could face immediate skepticism from people who question the usefulness of cryptocurrencies and others who are wary of the power already accumulated by the social media company.
The cryptocurrency, codenamed Libra, will also have to overcome concern that Facebook does not effectively protect the private information of its users — a fundamental task for a bank or anyone handling financial transactions.
But if the project, which Facebook hopes to begin next year with 100 partners, comes together, it would be the most far-reaching attempt by a mainstream company to jump into the world of cryptocurrencies, which is best known for speculative investments through digital tokens like Bitcoin and outside-the-law e-commerce, like buying drugs online.
The company has hopes that Libra could become the foundation for a new financial system not controlled by today’s power brokers on Wall Street or central banks.
“It feels like it is time for a better system,” David Marcus, head of Facebook’s blockchain technology research, said in an interview. “This is something that could be a profound change for the entire world.”
Source: New York Times