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

This image is the Facebook blue and white logo.
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