According to a report via Bloomberg, Facebook may be working on its own stablecoin for handling money transfers via WhatsApp, with a particular focus on the Indian market. The source states that the project is very far off, and is still in a strategic stage. Before going live, Facebook will need to prepare for custody assets — fiat currencies held to protect the value of the stablecoin.
This move isn’t entirely surprising, as Facebook hired former PayPal president David Marcus for its Messenger app back in 2014. Then in May of this year, Marcus became president of Facebook’s blockchain initiative, which the company has kept under wraps. This news comes on top of the social media giant hiring around 40 blockchain-focused employees earlier this month.
“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,” the company said in a statement.
WhatsApp has over 200 million users in India, and the country also has more remittances than anywhere in the world, with $69 billion sent home last year, as revealed by the World Bank. 2018 has been a big year for stablecoins. There were over 120 related projects this year says Stable.Report, a space that tracks these assets.
Of course, the idea behind a stablecoin is a little different than something like Bitcoin. While Bitcoin is unpredictable, stablecoins provide some of the benefits of cryptocurrency without the volatility. However, creating one is easier said than done. For example, Basis, one of the most promising stablecoins, recently shut down due to complications in adhering to SEC regulations.
A stablecoin powered by a mega-company like Facebook, however, might be poised for greater success.
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