It was in May this year when it was speculated that Facebook was planning to create its own Bitcoin-style cryptocurrency in order to allow its billions of users around the world to make electronic payments on its platform and outside as well. Now, according to a fresh report by Bloomberg, the social network giant is working on making a cryptocurrency called ‘Stablecoin’ that will let users transfer money on WhatsApp messaging app, with India being first remittances market Facebook will be focusing at.
According to the report, Facebook Inc. is trying to build a “stablecoin,” a specific type of cryptocurrency with its value tied to U.S. dollar, which will be used to facilitate money transfers on WhatsApp, the messaging app owned by Facebook.
However, as Facebook is still working on plenty of things to actually launch the cryptocurrency, the release of stablecoin is still far away.
Before actually releasing the coin, the company is said to be working on various things including a plan for custody assets, or regular currencies that would be held to protect the value of the stablecoin.
Back in 2009, Facebook had launched ‘Facebook Credits’, which was used to purchase virtual goods in games like Farmville as well as non-gaming applications on the social networking platform. One U.S. dollar was the equivalent of 10 Facebook Credits. It however eventually stopped by Facebook in 2012.
Facebook has chosen India to target remittances for ‘Stablecoin’ usage because of the fact that India leads the world in remittances and according to the the World Bank, Indians have had sent $69 billion to their home county in 2017 and also beacase India has more than 200 million WhatsApp users making it a country with largest user base then any other emerging markets nations.
To recall, India’s local bank Federal Bank that primarily do its it business in Kerala is building a new cross-border remittance application on Corda, a Blockchain platform developed by consortium firm R3.
Kerala accounts for 35% of all foreign remittances that come into India and Federal Bank dominates this in Kerala.
Earlier this year, Facebook had announced it was launching a blockchain group. The team, helmed by former PayPal and Facebook Messenger boss David Marcus, has since remain silent about its goals, despite widespread speculation on what it might be up to.
In January, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg showed its interest in both cryptocurrencies and technology behind it — blockchain, and said in his FB post, “There are important counter-trends to this –l ike encryption and cryptocurrency — that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands. But they come with the risk of being harder to control. I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.”