Facebook secures Visa, Mastercard, PayPal backing for Libra cryptocurrency

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The highly secretive project has around 100 staff and Facebook has registered the Libra Networks company in blockchain friendly Switzerland.

Facebook's debut into the world of cryptocurrency could be just days away. The cryptocurrency will be managed by a consortium of firms under Libra Association which Facebook will officially announce on Tuesday.

Facebook is reported to have secured backing from more than a dozen firms including Uber, Mastercard, Visa and PayPal for its yet-to-be-released cryptocurrency, named "Libra".

San Francisco-based payments platform Stripe, online travel giant Booking.com, and Argentina-based e-commerce site MercadoLibre are also participating in Facebook's cryptocurrency project, the newspaper said, without mentioning the specific roles they will play.

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the two card schemes along with Paypal and Uber have each invested $10 million into a foundation that will govern the coin.

For the previous 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. As reported by the WSJ, members could act as "nodes" to verify and record transactions. Many experts have predicted that Facebook's token to be immensely successful and could be the next big thing, crushing competition hands down.

After its launch, you will be able to use GlobalCoin to make payments via Facebook's messaging products like Messenger and WhatsApp with zero processing fees. This event will signify the launch of a testnet meant to gather community feedback on the project and inform the future direction. At present, there are more than 2,000 digital coins in practice. Facebook also reportedly has extensive plans to pitch Libra to businesses, including through a white paper that will be attached to the expected official reveal of the coin next week, the Journal said.

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