It sounds like Facebook has persuaded a suite of heavyweight companies to get involved in its secretive blockchain project.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the Silicon Valley technology giant has enlisted a number of high-profile firms — including Uber, MasterCard, Stripe, Visa, and Booking.com — to support its new cryptocurrency.
For the last year or so, a team of dozens of Facebook employees have been working on applications for blockchain, the buzzy technology that underpins digital currency bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, to figure out how Facebook could utilize it. According to multiple reports, the company has been creating its own digital currency, and intends to officially announce it next week.
Uber, Stripe, and the others are reportedly investing $10 million each to support a separate organization that will help run the new digital currency, which has been codenamed Project Libra. (The companies named in The Wall Street Journal’s report did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.)
A separate report from The Information last week said that Facebook is hoping to enlist as many as 100 organisations to act as “nodes” in the network, which will limit any single organization’s control over the digital currency (including Facebook).
Facebook’s blockchain effort is being headed up by David Marcus, who previously led the Facebook Messenger business. The move into crypto is considered a key element of Facebook’s so-called pivot-to-privacy, a top to bottom overhaul of the social network that CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said will resolve many of the criticisms around privacy and misinformation on Facebook.
A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment.
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