Companies like Facebook and Telegram have previously exhibited their interest in developing their own coin, and are now looking to take this interest to the next level.
Internet messaging mainstays Facebook, Telegram and Signal have taken steps towards releasing native cryptocurrencies that users on their platform can use to send money to each other via the messaging service, much like a PayPal system.
The New York Times reported that Facebook has moved on to the next step of their digital currency plans, approaching crypto-exchanges about supporting their upcoming coin. However, the report did not mention which exchanges were targeted by the social networking giant.
Facebook hopes to integrate their cryptocurrency on WhatsApp, another internet-based messaging application that allows users to send the native token to their contacts instantly.
Other companies like Signal, the encrypted messaging application on iOS and Android is also developing its own native privacy-centric coin. Line and Kako, messaging platforms in Japan and South Korea are planning their entrance into the virtual currency market. China’s WeChat also boasts a payment service which is moving up on the popularity ladder.
The coins developed will exist on a computer network that would be decentralized so that the issuing company does not have undue influence over the cryptocurrency. The participation of the issuing company is what is touted as the main opposition to the idea as it opposes the decentrality principle of cryptocurrencies. Some have even equated Facebook’s coin to Ripple’s XRP, a centralized cryptocurrency.
One of the main advantages of using such currencies on such high-speed messaging services is the ability to reach the developing world where bureaucratic controls and poor financial infrastructure hamper monetary distribution. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, stated last week in a podcast with ARK Invest about this aspect of cryptocurrencies,
“It bypasses currency controls. Paper money is going away and crypto is a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper.”
Back in December, Facebook veered towards the cryptocurrency realm with rumours that their virtual currency, a possible-stablecoin that would be developed for WhatsApp users, will be backed by the US Dollar. It was later revealed that the coin would not just be backed by the US dollar, but by a basket of fiat currencies held in the Facebook bank accounts.
Furthermore, the Facebook coin project has managed to raise an air of secrecy, indicative of the importance of the project for the company.
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