Facebook and partners launch crypto currency coin

June 25, 2019

Facebook and 27 partners including Visa and Uber are developing a crypto currency called Libra, a digital token they hope will be used in everything from business transactions to money transfers.

Libra is expected to launch in 2020 and will be a blockchain-based coin that will let Facebook users send and receive money or pay for things. Eventually, they hope it will be used to pay for a taxi or a cup of coffee.

An analysis by Techcrunch explores the technology and motive behind the plan. Techcrunch says Libra isn’t aiming at traditional bank customers, but those without traditional banking services. The World Bank estimates there are 1.7 billion people in poor or emerging economies in this position. The idea is that storekeepers will let people convert cash into digital Libra coins, which could be deposited into digital wallets for use as payments.

Facebook’s partners such as Visa, MasterCard and Paypal have their own reasons for joining in. If Libra goes according to plan, it could one day compete with them.  

MasterCard and VISA are components of the Blockchain Technologies ETF (TSX:HBLK), launched in  February 2018. The ETF holds 21 stocks exposed to the development and implementation of Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies.

Ten core large cap holdings account for 45% of the ETF.  The ETF had an average market capitalization of CAD $146 billion through May 31, 2019, an average dividend yield of 0.76% and a management fee of 0.65%.

Facebook is a top holding of the Harvest Tech Achievers Growth & Income ETF  (TSX:HTA, HTA.U). The ETF holds 20 stocks. The largest weightings are 35% in software, 24% in semiconductors and 21% in IT services as of May 31, 2019.

The average market cap as of May 31, 2019 was US $333 billion, with an average dividend yield of 1.21%. The management fee is 0.85%.

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