On June 14, it was reported that Mercado Libre, which is a company that operates a popular Internet marketplace in South America, is cooperating with social media giant Facebook in relation to the latter's launch of a new digital currency called the Libra.
According to an unnamed executive at Mercado Libre, the company will be integrating Facebook's new cryptocurrency into its e-commerce platform, which will allow users to make payments with the currency. The executive, though, declined to divulge any actual details of the partnership other than that Mercado Libre will act as a node in Libra's blockchain network.
Mercado Libre operates in nearly 20 countries in Latin America, and it is considered one of the leading platforms of its kind in the region.
In terms of Libra itself — which will function as a stablecoin whose price will be tied to a collection of the leading fiat currencies — another report states that Facebook will sometime this week unveil what is called a testnet for the new digital currency. A testnet is a parallel cryptocurrency network that allows developers and users to perform transactions on coins that have no value for testing purposes.
Unlike most other digital currencies that have launched in the past, Libra has gained the support of many of the leading companies in the United States. This includes MasterCard, PayPal, Uber and Visa.
According to a report from a company called The Block, a group of prominent U.S. organizations have recently established a consortium that will oversee the new currency. These organizations include venture capital companies such as Union Square Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz as well as the Coinbase digital currency exchange. A nonprofit organization called the Mercy Corps is also said to be participating in the group.
Zachary Schwartzman and Mark Mahaney, who are analysts for the international investment bank RBC Capital, recently stated their belief that the launch of Libra would likely be one of the most important events in the history of Facebook. They think that the digital currency will "unlock new engagement and revenue streams."