Facebook is set to disclose a bid to bring cryptocurrency payments into the mainstream on Tuesday, June 18th, allegedly with the endorsement of governments and financial giants.
A virtual currency is expected to be launched next year by Facebook, which is hoping to avoid the rollercoaster volatility of "block chain" technologies such as bitcoin, AFP has reported.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is setting up a consortium called "Libra", which has been joined by more than a dozen companies including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and Uber.
Supposedly, the companies along with venture capitalists and telecommunications firms will invest around $10 million each into the consortium.
The consortium will be managed externally and will seek to build trust among consumers by pegging the virtual coin to a basket of currencies including the dollar and euro, the Journal said.
After a series of privacy abuses and the spread of fake news, Facebook has been trying to avert hostile regulatory scrutiny, seeking blessings from the US Treasury and the Bank of England.
Regulators have been tight-lipped about cryptocurrencies, not only because of potential abuse by criminals but also because of the wild swings in their value, harming consumers.
With more than two billion users across its platforms, which include WhatsApp and Instagram, Facebook's crypto initiative could facilitate shopping, applications and gaming and would benefit from its broad user base in Asia, RBC analyst Mark Mahaney pointed out in a research note last week.
It "may prove to be one of the most important initiatives in the history of the company to unlock new engagement and revenue streams," he stated.