Facebook is reportedly developing a new cryptocurrency to be used for transferring money via the popular messaging app WhatsApp.
The Verge reports that Facebook is developing its own cryptocurrency designed to make the transfer of funds via their WhatsApp messaging service easier. The cryptocurrency will reportedly be focused around India and helping Indian workers send money to their family back home. Facebook’s move into the world of cryptocurrency isn’t entirely surprising and had been previously reported as an area that the company was interested in moving into.
In a post to his Facebook page in January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated that every year he takes on a new personal challenge and so far has, “visited every US state, run 365 miles, built an AI for my home, read 25 books, and learned Mandarin.” Now this year, the billionaire CEO has turned his sights towards cryptocurrencies in 2018. Zuckerberg first began discussing the work that Facebook needs to do saying, “The world feels anxious and divided, and Facebook has a lot of work to do — whether it’s protecting our community from abuse and hate, defending against interference by nation states, or making sure that time spent on Facebook is time well spent.”
The billionaire CEO then focused on a topic that is often discussed within cryptocurrency circles, decentralization. “For example, one of the most interesting questions in technology right now is about centralization vs decentralization. A lot of us got into technology because we believe it can be a decentralizing force that puts more power in people’s hands. (The first four words of Facebook’s mission have always been “give people the power”.) Back in the 1990s and 2000s, most people believed technology would be a decentralizing force.”
It was reported in May that Facebook Messenger lead David Marcus was being reassigned to a new blockchain division which would focus on “how to best leverage Blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.” Unlike some other cryptocurrencies, Facebook is reportedly working on developing a “stablecoin” with its value based on U.S. currency in an effort to minimize the type of volatility seen with other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
Reports, however, claim that Facebook is currently not close to releasing a working cryptocurrency.
Another recent report indicates that Facebook faces a rampant problem of child pornography spread on WhatsApp.