Facebook to Launch Its Cryptocurrency for WhatsApp in H1 2019, In Talks With Exchanges

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According to the New York Times report, Facebook plans to use its crypto token for in-app payments across its suite of applications. The Facebook Coin will be a stablecoin pegged to three different fiat currencies.

California-based social media mogul Facebook is all set to launch its crypto token by the first half of 2019, report the New York Times. Over the last year, several reports hinted towards Facebook’s inclination for cryptocurrency and blockchain sector. The NY Times report published on Friday, February 28, briefs that Facebook has recently held talks with exchanges to sell its crypto token.

Furthermore, citing internal sources, the report notes that Facebook is like to integrate cryptocurrency payments across its messaging services. This includes three of Facebook’s wholly owned apps – Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram. Thus over 2.7 billion users can benefit from using Facebook’s new cryptocurrency.

Facebook’s Cryptocurrency Moves

The first report of Facebook planning to launch its own digital currency emerged in December 2018. However, the report stated that the Facebook Coin will be available only for WhatsApp users. But launching across its suite of applications makes greater sense as Facebook can target a larger user-base.

The internal sources now claim that the new Facebook Coin will be fiat pegged stablecoin. Also, its value shall be tied to three different national currencies, instead of just one.

A number of analysts in the past have shown interest on Facebook getting its crypto token to the market. Earlier Bloomberg report also suggested that Facebook will target the “remittances market in India” looking tot he country’s massive WhatsApp user-base.

Note that Facebook is not the first player planning to launch its crypto token across its messaging apps. Previously, the Russian-developed Telegram messaging app announced similar plans. Telegram founder Parel Durov plans to launch the Telegram Open Network (TON) along with its native cryptocurrency ‘Gram’, ahead this year. Over the last year, Telegram has managed to raise a whopping $1.7 billion for its TON project.

As per the earlier report, the launch of TON network will take place next month in March 2019. Analysts predict that the Gram token could likely have a market cap of $30 billion.

Besides the two messaging behemoths, Japan’s Line and South Korea Kakao messaging applications plan to have their native crypto token for in-app payment and other company services.

Facebook’s Ongoing Blockchain Development

Over the last year, Facebook has doubled-down on its efforts working on the blockchain technology. Although the company hasn’t been much vocal about it, until recently, CEO Mark Zuckerberg spoke about it. Earlier this month, Facebook acquired blockchain startup Chainspace in a talent acquisition deal.

Chianspace is a “planetary scale smart contracts platform”. It “delivers on modern expectations of processing power, making it the platform of choice for complex real-world applications”.

In his recent interview to Harvard Law Professor Jonathan Zittrain, Zuckerberg said, he is ‘potentially interested’ in putting the Facebook login on the blockchain.

Facebook, which faced a massive data security breach last year with the Cambridge Analytica scandal, is now betting on the blockchain. Besides login, Facebook also plans to bring other data security aspects on the blockchain network. Zuckerberg said:

“A use of blockchain that I’ve been thinking about … though I haven’t figured out a way to make this work out, is around authentication and… granting access to your information to different services. So, replacing the notion of what we have with Facebook Connect with something that is truly distributed. Basically, you take your information, you store it on some decentralized system and you have the choice to log into places without going through an intermediary.”

It looks like 2019 is going to be certainly exciting as big companies launch their projects. However, one question remains is how far these companies will decentralize their crypto tokens.

Hopefully, the global crypto market shall also revive after last year’s massive downfall.



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