The social media giant has been working to develop a digital currency, code-named Libra, that will allow users to store or transfer money and complete transactions without fees, The Information reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the matter. Facebook is said to be preparing an aggressive rollout of the digital currency in developing countries with volatile traditional currencies.
Facebook will offer employees who worked on the initiative to be paid in the cryptocurrency in lieu of their normal salary, according to the report. The cryptocurrency will be featured on Facebook’s core platform, WhatsApp and Instagram, and could eventually have a physical presence through partnerships with retailers and ATM-like exchanges for traditional currency.
Facebook declined to comment.
The social media giant plans to form an independent foundation, composed of financial institutions and leading tech firms, to oversee the cryptocurrency. It’s unclear which institutions will ultimately participate in the foundation, which is seen as an attempt to reassure the public in the wake of Facebook’s various data privacy scandals over the last year.
Facebook executives reportedly contacted the Winklevoss twins, who operate cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, regarding their planned digital currency. Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss famously sued Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, their Harvard University classmate, for allegedly stealing the idea for the social media platform.