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eToro launches portfolio firms behind Facebook’s Libra

The trading platform said the portfolio gives investors a chance ‘to take a stake’ in the planned digital currency.

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Trading platform eToro has launched a portfolio of firms involved with Facebook’s new digital currency Libra.

The Israeli business said it has grouped together 13 publicly-traded companies for investors that are part of the big tech firm’s plans to launch a new global currency.

Last month, the social media giant, led by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, said it planned to introduce a new digital coin, that unlike other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, will be backed by a basket of reserve currencies like Sterling and the US dollar in a bid to curtail wild fluctuations.

Facebook and its consortium partners said the currency will dramatically lower the costs of domestic and cross border payments, in a move it hopes will upend the delivery of financial services around the world.

The consortium currently consists of 28 financial, technology and not-for-profit bodies that range from Mastercard, Uber and Women’s World Banking.

Libra concerns

But policymakers, such as the Bank of England, have raised concerns about Facebook’s plans that range from money-laundering, tax evasion and data protection issues.

However, eToro co-founder and chief executive Yoni Assia (pictured) said: “The Facebook Libra project presents a seismic shift for global finance as it is the first time we are seeing a tech giant make a move into finance using crypto. We want to give people the opportunity to take a stake in it as in the past, only the private companies and individuals involved in these historic developments have benefitted from them. We want to change that.”

The Tel Aviv-based platform, founded in 2007 runs a range of portfolios that cover renewable energy, cybersecurity and the medical cannabis industry. 

Assia added: “Given the importance of the Libra project, this portfolio was devised just two weeks after the project’s whitepaper was made public.”

Crypto exchange

The companies in eToro’s Libra portfolio are: Mastercard, Paypal, Visa, Booking Holdings, eBay, Lyft, MercadoLibre, Spotify, Uber, Facebook, Iliad, Vodafone and Farfetch. The trading platform adds the minimum investment in the portfolio is $2,000.  

In April, eToro launched a crypto exchange offering a mix of six crypto assets and stablecoins -  Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, BitcoinCash and Litecoin.

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Yoni Assia

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