On December 20, Bloomberg reported that Facebook (social media giant) is allegedly developing a cryptocurrency for Whatsapp (Messaging Service) users. The intention is to allow the tokens to be used for money transfers within the app. The project will be targeting the remittance market (India).
According to reports, the social media giant, Facebook is establishing a Stablecoin. As the work is in progress concerning the coin, it’s launch is not scheduled anytime soon. The asset to which the coin will be associated with is yet to be decided. Reports from the World Bank shows that the remittance market in India is of great significance. In the year 2017, a total of $69 billion was received by the nation through foreign remittances which amount to 2.8% of India’s GDP.
The messaging app has a user base of over 200 million citizens in India. With reduced data and internet costs, the number of active WhatsApp users in rural India has doubled. In previous years, Facebook was not in favour of cryptocurrency. Facebook introduced crypto ad bans in January 2018. According to Facebook, these ad bans were designed to prevent ‘ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.’ However, over the last year, Facebook’s stand on cryptocurrency has changed drastically.
David Marcus, Head of Facebook Messenger, came out to announce the development of blockchain exploratory team. When the announcement was made, Marcus also held a directors position at Coinbase (Crypto Exchange and Wallet Service). Marcus stated ‘I’m setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.’ In June 2018, Facebook revoked ad bans on cryptocurrencies but continued the ban on promotion of ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).
Marcus quit his post at Coinbase this August. He said ‘Because of the new group I’m setting up at Facebook around blockchain, I’ve decided it was appropriate for me to resign.’