Facebook plans to launch a new cryptocurrency called Libra in the first half of 2020. 


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At least three early backers of Libra, a cryptocurrency Facebook unveiled plans for earlier this year, are discussing ways to distance themselves from the project, the Financial Times reported Thursday. The move stems from intensifying regulatory scrutiny of the digital currency, FT said.

Facebook and 27 partners unveiled plans for Libra in June. Since then, the social media giant has faced pushback from lawmakers who worry that the cryptocurrency will be abused by criminals and that it could hurt the US dollar.  The EU is also reportedly investigating whether the new digital currency could unfairly shut out rivals. The social network has said it won’t launch the cryptocurrency until all the concerns lawmakers have are addressed.

According to Facebook’s plans, Libra will launch in the first half of 2020, and the company has created a group called the Libra Association to govern the cryptocurrency. The association has 28 founding members, including PayPal, Visa, Uber, Spotify, Coinbase, Andreessen Horowitz and Mercy Corps, but aims to have 100 by 2020. Libra will be pegged to a basket of assets so its value won’t swing wildly like other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin and ethereum. 

Facebook has become frustrated with other founding members not speaking out in support of Libra, according to FT. However, some partners have reportedly express concern that publicly supporting the digital currency could attract regulatory scrutiny of their businesses.

 Facebook declined to comment. The Libra Association didn’t responded to a request for comment.


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