Facebook's stock rose 4.2% Monday as investors anticipate the company's entrance into the hot cryptocurrency space.
According to reports from The Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, Facebook has partnered with companies like Uber, Visa and PayPal to create its new cryptocurrency called Libra. The initiative is run by David Marcus, the Facebook executive who previously ran Facebook Messenger. He was the president of PayPal before joining Facebook.
The digital currency will allow Facebook users to send money to each other and pay for goods through Facebook's family of apps like Messenger and WhatsApp. But details are pretty scarce beyond that. Still, analysts were bullish on Facebook's impending crypto announcement, saying it could open up new sources of revenue outside of its core digital advertising business.
"We believe this is a major initiative for Facebook, and one that has the potential of putting the company front and center in areas beyond advertising, including commerce and financial services, materially expanding its total addressable market and growth prospects," analysts at SunTrust said in a research note this week.
The price of popular cryptocurrency bitcoin also rose more than 3% on anticipation that Facebook's entry into the space could spark new interest.