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Facebook will launch its own cryptocurrency in 2020, report says

It plans to begin testing the coin by the end of this year, according to the BBC.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly talked to Britain's central banker about launching a cryptocurrency.

James Martin/CNET

Facebook plans to release its own cryptocurrency in early 2020, according to a report Friday from the BBC.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly met with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney in April to discuss the cryptocurrency. The social media platform will lay out plans for its coin, internally called GlobalCoin, later this summer and begin tests by the end of the year, according to the BBC. The crypto will reportedly get an official launch in about a dozen countries during the first quarter of 2020.

News of Facebook developing its own digital currency first surfaced at the end of 2018. It could reportedly be used to allow people on WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, to transfer funds to others via the app. Facebook's cryptocurrency may have its value tied to the US dollar, also known as a stablecoin, which would prevent its value from fluctuating wildly.

Along with talking with the Bank of England, Facebook also reportedly spoke with US Treasury officials regarding regulatory issues and firms such as Western Union to discuss transferring funds.

Facebook is also reportedly interested in working on its cyrptocurrency with the Winklevoss twins, according to the Financial Times. The brothers -- who accused Zuckerberg of stealing their idea for the social media platform -- are the co-founders of Gemini, which is a licensed cryptocurrency exchange.

The Bank of England and Facebook declined to comment. Western Union and the US Treasury didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last week, a Swiss news site reported that the social network was setting up a company in Switzerland to focus on payments and blockchain, the technology powering cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Originally published on May 24 at 7:18 a.m. PT
Update, 11:56 a.m. PT: Adds more background info.

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