SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Facebook Inc announced ambitious plans on Tuesday to launch a new global cryptocurrency called Libra, part of an effort to expand into digital payments that immediately raised privacy concerns.
The social networking giant has linked with 28 partners including Mastercard, PayPal and Uber to form Libra Association, a Geneva-based entity governing the new digital coin, according to marketing materials and interviews with executives. No banks are yet part of the group.
To facilitate transactions, Facebook also created Calibra, a subsidiary that will offer digital wallets to save, send and spend Libras. Calibra will be connected to Facebook messaging platforms Messenger and WhatsApp.
The whole system is scheduled to launch in the first half of 2020.
Facebook executives and others associated with Libra have big aspirations. They hope it will not only power transactions between established consumers and businesses globally, but offer unbanked consumers…