Facebook is building a cryptocurrency for users of its messaging service WhatsApp, according to a Bloomberg report on December 21, 2018. However, the release of the coin is not imminent.
Initially, this venture will focus first on the remittance market in India, where there are more than 200 million WhatsApp users.
The social media giant is developing a stablecoin, a type of digital currency closely associated with the U.S. dollar. Through such an endeavor, the firm wants to minimize volatility in the crypto market.
Facebook is still working on a strategy for custody assets, the asset to which the stablecoin will be tied. It needs regular currencies that would be held to protect the value of the newly introduced coin.
“Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”,
A company spokesman said in a statement.
Facebook has long been expected to make a move in the financial sector, after hiring former PayPal president David Marcus to run its Messenger app in 2014. Facebook’s strategy on cryptocurrencies has experienced many changes over the last year.
In January 2018, the social media network introduced a crypto ad ban which was canceled in late June 2018. In May 2018, David Marcus announced the formation of a blockchain exploratory team at Facebook.
Facebook since then has been on a hiring craze and now has about 40 people in its blockchain group, according to the employee titles on LinkedIn. Marcus quoted “I’m setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.”
In recent times, the crypto community has seen a sizeable boom in the number of stablecoin projects. At one point, there were more than 120 ventures related to this context. This report was as per Stable.Report, a website that tracks stable tokens.
The concept was visualized to create a digital coin that would be far easier to use on daily transactions, as it would be more stable than currencies like Bitcoin. The idea, however, has been tough to implement, with the market facing at least one high-profile shutdown in recent weeks.
Likewise, many agencies like The Hoboken highlighted aspects that could thwart potential buyers while there are some high-profile stablecoins like Tether that are surrounded by controversies.