Facebook’s cryptocurrency foray leads bitcoin to its best trading stretch in 3 weeks

Reports that Facebook Inc. is about to roll out a cryptocurrency as soon as next week have helped bitcoin to notch its best weekly trading period in about three weeks.

Bitcoin futures for June delivery BTCM19, +2.29% trading on the CME Group Inc. CME, +0.18% on Friday settled at $8,440, up nearly 2% on the day and up about 5.3% for week, according to FactSet data, representing the best weekly gain since the period ended May 24. Meanwhile, bitcoin prices BTCUSD, +2.60% were at $8,604, according to CoinDesk, tracking near the digital currency’s highest levels since March.

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Helping to fuel gains in an already buoyant asset are developing details on Facebook‘s FB, +2.18% reported plan for a cryptocurrency, which will be pegged to a basket of fiat currencies, like the dollar, and be used as a crypto-based payment system, tapping into the social-media platform’s 2.4 billion monthly active-user base, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The report said that Facebook will unveil the new crypto-payment platform sometime next week, with an array of heavyweight backers, which include Mastercard Inc. MA, -0.42% PayPal Holdings Inc. PYPL, +0.39% UberTechnologies UBER, -2.44% and Visa Inc. V, +0.18%

A report from news site The Block on Friday said the list of backers and potential users also includes popular crypto-trading platform Coinbase, Spotify Technology SPOT, -0.18%  and venture-capital firms Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures.

Unlike traditional cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, Facebook’s crypto will be a centralized, rather than decentralized blockchain network. That means verification is controlled by a select group rather than the public, and the crypto is pegged to a hard asset as a way to mitigate the volatile price swings that have been associated with digital

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