Prelims level : Science & Technology Mains level : Information Technology
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Why in News?

  • • Facebook plans to launch its cryptocurrency ‘GlobalCoin’ by the first quarter of 2020.
  • • The company is expected to reveal more details about the currency before testing begins
    later in 2019.


  • • The currency, which is being referred to internally as ‘GlobalCoin’, will reportedly be available in around a dozen countries at launch, where it’s expected to offer people affordable and secure payments without the need for a bank account.
  • • The currency will need to overcome numerous technical and regulatory hurdles before it can be launched.
  • • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with the Bank of England’s governor Mark Carney to discuss the opportunities and risks of the planned digital currency.
  • • However, Facebook might have a harder job on its hands in India, which has taken a hostile attitude towards virtual currencies.
  • • India is reported to be a key focus for the new currency, where Facebook hopes it will allow Indian workers abroad to send money back home to their families using WhatsApp.

What is a Cryptocurrency?

  • • A cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security.
  • • A cryptocurrency is difficult to counterfeit because of this security feature.
  • • It is not issued by any central authority, rendering it theoretically immune to government interference or manipulation.
  • • The first blockchain-based cryptocurrency was Bitcoin, which still remains the most popular and most valuable.

    • Today, there are thousands of alternate cryptocurrencies with various functions or specifications.

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