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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

3 hours ago - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.

5 hours ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.