May 25, 2019

Facebook plans to test "GlobalCoins" cryptocurrency by end of 2019

The Facebook social media logo. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Facebook plans to begin testing its "GlobalCoins" cryptocurrency by the end of this year, in anticipation of launching digital payments systems in nearly a dozen countries by 2020, BBC reports.

Catch up quick: Facebook's plans to develop a new cryptocurrency have reportedly involved allowing users to transfer money in WhatsApp, according to reporting on the company's strategy last year.

The impact, via Axios' Sara Fischer and Scott Rosenberg: If Facebook successfully deployed that system to the combined messaging platform it plans to build from WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger, it could establish a dominant cryptocurrency overnight — building an onramp to the new technology for millions the way AOL populated the internet in the '90s.

Flashback: Facebook tried to create a similar digital currency in 2009 — first used as a payment method for games — that petered out by 2011 due to a lack of public interest.

Go deeper: Facebook’s pivot is bigger than privacy

Go deeper

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 9 hours ago - Health

California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 10 hours ago - Health

Big video game conference delayed amid coronavirus concerns

Photo: GDC

Next month's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco became the latest tech event to be cancelled or postponed amid growing concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: A growing number of events are being scrapped, including Mobile World Congress and Facebook's F8 developer conference. Some, like the giant SXSW event in Austin, insist they are moving forward.