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Facebook Preps GlobalCoin Launch

Facebook is set to announce its cryptocurrency later this month, and will reportedly even allow the project's employees to get paid in the new currency. The social media giant has been working on the project — code-named Project Libra — for more than a year, centered around the company’s own digital coin that users can send to each other, as well as use to make online purchases.

According to The Information, Facebook is also planning to launch physical ATM-like machines, where users can purchase the currency. In addition, the social media giant started speaking to potential “nodes” to help manage the crypto — and might charge them $10 million for that privilege.

Last month, sources revealed that Facebook has been meeting with financial firms and online merchants in preparation for the crypto's launch. The company was reportedly looking to raise as much as $1 billion in investments for the initiative as well, and has met with dozens of potential investors — including Visa, Mastercard and payments processor First Data — to raise funding that would underpin the value of the coin. This method would hopefully enable Facebook’s coin to avoid the price swings that other cryptos (including bitcoin) have faced in recent months.

In addition, Facebook is talking to eCommerce companies and apps about accepting the coin, as well as gaining additional, smaller financial investments from them. It is also developing a checkout option that would allow consumers to use their Facebook log-in credentials as a payment method when shopping on the site or with other online merchants.

While CEO Mark Zuckerberg highlighted payments as an important area for the company at its conference for developers earlier this year, there have been reports that COO Sheryl Sandberg and CFO David Wehner have “been skeptical of the initiative internally.”

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The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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