Facebook could be building a cryptocurrency for WhatsApp

WSJDFacebook’s blockchain boss, David Marcus.
  • Facebook is trying to build a cryptocurrency that would power money transfers on WhatsApp, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
  • The Silicon Valley tech giant is reportedly trying to build a “stablecoin” pegged to the value of the dollar.

Facebook is quietly building a cryptocurrency to power money transfers on WhatsApp, according to a new report from Bloomberg.

Earlier in 2018, amid widespread bitcoin and crypto hype, the Silicon Valley tech giant announced it was launching a blockchain group. The team, helmed by former PayPal and Facebook Messenger boss David Marcus, has since stayed mum about its goals, despite widespread speculation on what it might be up to.

According to Bloomberg, the company is trying to build a “stablecoin,” a specific type of cryptocurrency with a value is tied to the dollar, which will be used to facilitate money transfers on the messaging app. At least initially, it will apparently target remittances in India.

Earlier this month, business news outlet Cheddar reported that the Facebook employees had discussed with blockchain industry insiders “the idea of creating a decentralized digital currency for the social network’s 2 billion users,” and that it is hiring for a range of roles, from project managers and academics. However, Facebook is reportedly struggling to hire talent, with crypto experts wary of the company because of its centralised nature and years of scandals.

Reached for comment, Facebook spokesperson Travis Reed provided Business Insider with the following statement: “Like many other companies Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”

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