According to multiple anonymous sources, who are familiar to Facebook’s highly secretive cryptocurrency project, the platform is “hoping to succeed where Bitcoin failed”, as reported by the New York Times (NYT) on Feb 28.
The published article cited five people briefed on the effort who chose to remain anonymous because of confidentiality agreements. Reportedly, Facebook is working on a coin that users of WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, could send to friends and family instantly.
Notably, the platform plans to integrate its three owned apps, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram under one canopy. The Times further notes that this could provide the crypto token with exposure to the 2.7 billion who use the three services each month.
The crypto-powered payment system will operate from within a messaging system and this idea is being pursued by several global messaging giants, such as Korea’s Kakao, Line in Japan, and Russian-developed Telegram. As per the publishing, Facebook’s crypto project, led by ex-PayPal president David Marcus was launched shortly after Telegram had sealed close to $1.7 billion in two private initial coin offering (ICO) rounds for its forthcoming token and blockchain platform Telegram Open Network (TON).
Three unnamed sources told the NYT that over 50 engineers are working for Facebook, to develop its cryptocurrency. The newspaper further cites two more sources, that the importance of keeping the project under wraps is so much so that the relevant team has been given an office with separate key-card access to keep the details private from other employees.
The forthcoming coin will allegedly be a fiat-pegged stablecoin, tied to the value of three different national fiat currencies, rather than just one. Citing the anonymous sources, the publishing further notes that Facebook has already begun shopping the “Facebook coin” around to unnamed crypto exchanges.
The important question
One important aspect to be seen is how far will Facebook allow its digital coin transactions to be decentralized, remains moot. Times further cites experts who argue that the social media giant will like to face the same technological limitations and regulatory issues that is faced by the cryptocurrencies stalwart such as Bitcoin (BTC)