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Price US dollars
As of 08:38 20 Jun 2019
Market cap. US dollars
450,600.24 million
As of 08:38 20 Jun 2019

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Facebook currency

BBC Radio 5 Live

Getty Images

Facebook is launching its own digital currency, joining the crypto-currency bandwagon. It expects firms like Uber and Visa to accept it and says people without bank accounts will benefit.

Presenter Mickey Clark points out many, many regulators will have to say yes to it, and that the value of these currencies - like bitcoin for instance - is very volatile.

Fiona Cincotta, Senior Market Analyst at City Index says trust could be an issue, especially since it is Facebook launching this, following their privacy scandals.

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Facebook launches digital currency

Libra coin

Facebook plans to launch a new digital currency, called Libra, next year.

It said people would be able to make payments with the currency via its own apps, as well as on messaging service WhatsApp.

Firms such as Uber and Visa are also likely to accept it in future, it said.

It is the latest foray by a tech giant into the payments sector, after Google Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay - although none of those services are based on a crypto-currency.

What will Facebook's crypto-currency be like?

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Marc Zuckerberg on a smartphone by a laptop

Social network Facebook is apparently expected to announce details of its own crypto-currency later today.

According to Dr Garrick Hileman, head of research into blockchain at London School of Economics, launching a digital currency is Facebook's way of challenging the banks and enabling a new way to pay on its platform.

"Years ago Facebook introduced a credit system, this was for transacting on the Facebook platform - for in-currency in games and other apps on Facebook," he told Today.

"It ran into trouble in part because micro-transactions - very high frequency low value transactions in pennies - are not very easy to make viable when you factor in the cost of ~Visa or Mastercard fees."

A way around this would be to just have its own crypto-currency and make it a stable coin pegged to a currency like the US dollar.

"We've seen in China, Wechat Pay, Alipay dominate digital payments. Most people in China now use non-bank digital payments so banks are very nervous, so unsurprisingly we've seen Visa Mastercard Paypal join this initiative," he added.