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Facebook's stock set to rise more than 2% after official launch of cryptocurrency Libra coin

Mark DeCambre

Facebook Inc. on Tuesday said it will roll out its highly anticipated digital currency next year, intended to be used to make payments over the internet as well as on its social-media platform. The cryptocurrency called Libra coin uses blockchain, the digital-ledger technology that underpins cryptocurrencies like bitcoin to create its digital currency. However, unlike bitcoin the digital asset will be pegged to hard currencies like the dollar and the euro to make it less prone to the wild prices swings associated with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The move is widely viewed as an implicit endorsement of the blockchain technology and to a lesser extent crypto assets, which were first created back in 2009 when a person or persons known as Satoshi Nakamoto minted the first bitcoin. The Facebook digital payment venture will be backed by more than two dozen companies, including Mastercard Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. , as well as Uber Technologies Inc. and Spotify Technology . The cryptocurrency will be overseen by a Geneva-based company called Libra Association, with many of the aforementioned backers serving as members of the independent organization. Facebook is also creating a digital wallet called Calibra that allows users to safely store their Libra coins. Shares of Facebook were climbing more than 2% in premarket trade Tuesday, while futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average , S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq-100 were also rising, setting up modest opening gains for the U.S. stock market.