Sources close to Facebook are reporting that the company is developing an in-house cryptocurrency that will allow FB users to transfer money securely via the company’s WhatsApp messaging app– and the news is sending shockwaves through the crypto sector.
Bloomberg is reporting that the Facebook crypto will be a “stablecoin“, and that the company has plans to peg its coin’s value to that of the US Dollar if and when the coin eventually launches. Despite excitement for the news, that launch could still be a long time away. Facebook is still in the planning stages, say sources who asked not to be identified discussing internal FB matters. That process reportedly includes a plan for custody assets (regular currencies that would be held to protect the value of the stablecoin).
“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology,” a company spokesman said in a statement on the matter. “This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”
WhatsApp, the company’s encrypted mobile-messaging app, is hugely popular in markets like India, with more than 200 million users there, alone. India also leads the world in remittances, with expats sending more han $69 billion “home” to India in 2017, according to numbers released by the World Bank.
Facebook has 2.5 billion global users, more than $40 billion in annual revenue, and more experience navigating regulatory issues than other cryptocurrency companies. As such, it may have a better chance of making a stablecoin that sticks. If the coin does get released, Facebook would be the first large technology company to launch such a project.