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

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Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Lego, Sesame Workshop back early-learning startup

Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

A number of leading children's brands, including Lego and Sesame Workshop, are among the investors pouring $50 million into BEGiN, the New York startup behind the early-learning program HOMER.

Why it matters: Thus far, HOMER has focused on reading apps, but with the new funding and partnerships, the company says it will expand to a full early-learning program combining digital, physical and in-person experiences, tapping some of its investors for both content and distribution.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate's surprise appearance in the debate

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The debate was a mess as moderator Chris Wallace struggled with President Trump's interruptions. But let's analyze the climate parts anyway without normalizing the whole thing.

Why it matters: The contest provided a collision over the topic between Trump and Joe Biden, and underscored the two candidates' immense differences.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 33,700,008 — Total deaths: 1,008,874 — Total recoveries: 23,426,047Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 a.m. ET: 7,191,406 — Total deaths: 206,005 — Total recoveries: 2,813,305 — Total tests: 103,155,189Map.
  3. Health: The coronavirus' alarming impact on the body.
  4. Business: Shell plans up to 9,000 job cuts by 2022.
  5. Politics: 7 former FDA commissioners say Trump is undermining agency's credibility.
  6. Work: United States of burnout — Asian American unemployment spikes amid pandemic