Rumor have been circulating around Facebook in recent weeks regarding its recent mass hiring of blockchain developers. The question is, what will they be working on? According to a Bloomberg report released on December 20th, Facebook has plans to develop a native cryptocurrency that is to be used for money transfers within the Whatsapp app in Indian remittance markets.
Bloomberg reports that Facebook intends on creating a stablecoin, but has yet to decide upon a custody asset i.e. the asset the value will be tied too. The release date of the token is not expected for a long time due to the lack of a decision regarding custody assets and the infancy of their blockchain development.
Whatsapp is a wildly popular messaging app in India and has over 200 million users in India alone. The number of Whatsapp users has recently increased in rural India due to dropping internet prices making Facebook’s target audience for its new crypto, huge.
Facebook and Cryptocurrency
Facebook has changed their interest and policies towards cryptocurrencies over the past year multiple times. Back in January of 2018, Facebook placed a iron curtain ban outlawing the promotion of any cryptocurrency or related media on the platform. The purpose of the ban was to remove any ads that were “misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”
This ban was then greatly reduced six months later in June when Facebook recoiled their policy to just the exclusion of any ads regarding ICO’s.
David Marcus is Facebook’s current head of app messaging (Messenger). Marcus was also a member of the Coinbase board before he resigned from his position back in August of 2018. Marcus’s reason for his resignation is as follows. He states “Because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain, I’ve decided it was appropriate for me to resign…”
The group Marcus was referring to was a Facebook blockchain exploratory team which he began assembling back in June 2018. Marcus stated at the time that the purpose of the group was to “explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.”
we now know that they’ve decided that the best way for them to leverage blockchain technology is the creation of their very own digital asset.