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With virtual money, Facebook bets on disrupting the world, again

• phys.org, by Rob Lever, With Julie Charpentrat

The Libra cryptocurrency unveiled Tuesday by Facebook with two dozen partners aims to bring financial services and online commerce to more than a billion "unbanked" people.

Facebook's plan could potentially be as disruptive as its original mission of connecting the planet, and puts the company on a new track as it shifts its emphasis away from being the world's "town square."

"If successful, Libra could have benefits for consumers and in reducing the transaction costs of electronic payments, but the success of Libra is not guaranteed," said John Belau, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a nonprofit policy group in Washington.

"Like other cryptocurrencies, it will face many challenges of which the most important is establishing trust in a community of users."

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