In a secretive project known as "Libra," Facebook plans to launch a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar. While many are excited about the prospect of bringing crypto mainstream, there are a number of issues to be worked out - including how the digital currency would be backed, and how it will be issued and stored.
Many interpret the move as a bid to follow in the footsteps of so-called “superapps” such as China’s WeChat, that allows users to send money, shop, order taxis and play games without ever having to leave the one platform. According to an earlier report by the Wall Street Journal, Facebook may encourage transactions by rewarding its users with the currency if they view ads on the platform, in a similar way to the collection of loyalty points. Experts expect this type of network to encourage Facebook’s vast user base to spend more time and money on the platform. It could address user concerns over Facebook’s advertising business model — but might also allow the company to collect more data on users, such as spending patterns.