Facebook Plans Cryptocurrency Launch in First Half of 2019: NYT Report

A report from the New York Times says plans to launch a cryptocurrency product in the first half of 2019.

AccessTimeIconFeb 28, 2019 at 6:43 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:56 a.m. UTC
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Facebook is talking to exchanges about potentially listing a cryptocurrency.

That’s the main finding from a New York Times story published Thursday on several efforts to introduce native cryptocurrencies to widely used messaging platforms. The Times reports that Signal and Telegram are also planning to roll out tokens over the next 12 months.

Citing “four people briefed on the negotiations,” the Times reports that Facebook has told exchanges it expects to get a product out in the first half of 2019.

The Facebook project, which had previously been reported by Bloomberg as a stablecoin for its WhatsApp messaging service, would be the most high profile of the bunch. The social media giant has 2.5 billion global users.

One source speaking to CoinDesk on condition of anonymity confirmed that the company is working on a stablecoin, based on past meetings with the Menlo Park company.

Facebook has beefed up its blockchain team in recent months, with a hiring push and at least one talent-minded acquisition. The company is currently seeking to fill nearly 20 blockchain-related positions. According to the Times report, more than 50 Facebook engineers are dedicated to the company’s blockchain project.

Increasing the reach of the project, the story notes prior reporting that Facebook has plans to integrate users across its Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram messaging services.

Brady Dale contributed reporting.

Facebook image via Shutterstock

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