SINGAPORE (June 24): Facebook is launching a digital currency that can be used seamlessly on mobile phones at near-zero fees. The social networking giant will also build its own mobile wallet, Calibra, which will act almost like a bank, hosting accounts, giving out loans and even having Calibra-branded ATMs.

Libra is developed as part of an association that includes MasterCard, Visa and Paypal Holdings; marketplace eBay; telco Vodafone Group; media service Spotify Technology; ride hailing service Uber Technologies; venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz; and NGO Mercy Corps. Notably absent are banks. Indeed, when launched next year, Libra is set to undercut fees banks charge and serve the 1.7 billion “unbanked” people.

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