Social media giant Facebook is reportedly looking to develop its own stablecoin for money transfers.
Citing anonymous sources familiar with the plan, a Bloomberg report on Friday said the company will first focus on the Indian market to let users transfer money via a fiat-pegged cryptocurrency on WhatsApp, the messaging app Facebook acquired in 2014.
However, the report added the actual launch of the stablecoin could still be a way off, since the initiative is at a strategic planning stage. Currently, WhatsApp has over 200 million monthly active users in India.
India is also one of the largest markets for remittances, with migrants sending $69.59 billion back home in 2017 alone, according to the latest annual report from the World Bank.
Facebook set up its blockchain team in May, aiming to explore the emerging technology. It posted five job openings earlier this month, looking to add more members to its blockchain team with expertise on data science, software engineering and marketing.
David Marcus, who previously served as a vice president for Facebook’s Messenger app division, heads blockchain team. In June, the firm appointed appointed Evan Cheng, a senior engineer, as its first blockchain engineering director.
“If Facebook launches the stablecoin they are reportedly building, it will quickly become the most used product in crypto,” tweeted Anthony Pompliano, a crypto analyst and founder and partner at Morgan Creek Digital Assets, adding: “The Indian government has been fighting crypto too so things are about to get very, very interesting.”
Meanwhile, other global messaging applications, such as Kakao, LINE and Telegram, have already revealed plans to move into the blockchain space.
In August, Japan’s LINE became one of the first publicly traded companies to have launched its own blockchain mainnet with a cryptocurrency called the LINK token.
Correction: This article previously stated that the reported Facebook token would be dollar-pegged. There is no indication of the stablecoin’s peg so far. This error has now been corrected.
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