US social media giant Facebook is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency next year, BBC has reported.
Rumours about the company’s secretive crypto plans have been circulating the industry since December, when Bloomberg first reported that the tech giant was working on a stablecoin for its mobile messaging service WhatsApp. Subsequent media reports have suggested the Facebook is looking to raise up to $1 billion from external investors and that it is to officially announce its plans for the token, reportedly dubbed ‘Facebook coin’, in the second half of the year.
According to the latest report, which was published by the BBC earlier today, Facebook wants to start testing the coin by the end of this year, with an official launch scheduled for the first quarter of 2020. The BBC also said the cryptocurrency had been referred to internally as GlobalCoin. The news network added that Facebook was expected to reveal more details about the project in the summer and it had already spoken to Bank of England governor Mark Carney. Reportedly, the company has also sought advice on operational and regulatory issues from officials at the US Treasury.
The report also says that the company is having discussions with money transfer companies including Western Union “as it looks for cheaper and faster ways for people without a bank account to send and receive money”. Previous reports have suggested that Facebook is in talks with a number of online merchants to accept the currency as payment in return for lower transaction fees.
Facebbok’s involvement in crypto could be a significant boon for the sector, as the social network’s massive user base could help boost crypto adoption and usage. As for Facebook, creating a proprietary cryptocurrency would enable the company to tap into the lucrative sector of online payments, as well as establish itself as a major player in the crypto space.
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