Facebook close to launching own cryptocurrency

Posted on March 4, 2019

 

According to rumours, social networking giant Facebook is close to launching its own cryptocurrency to rival the likes of Bitcoin, and it could be on the cards for later this year.

The New York Times has reported that a clandestine team of approximately 50 Facebook developers have been working on its cryptocurrency projects. The company has been working on the project for nearly 12 months, with work beginning on it since May 2018. This followed one of the company’s biggest management changes in its history.

Previous rumours about the project have suggested that it will be called stablecoin and that it will be similar to other virtual currencies currently available, such as the well-known Bitcoin. Furthermore, it is believed that the Facebook currency would be launched to users through WhatsApp, the popular messaging platform now owned by the social enterprise.

Earlier in the year, there was an announcement that Facebook could merge the site and its operations with other platforms and apps that it owns, such as WhatsApp, Messenger and photo-sharing app Instagram. This proposed merger would pave the way for the new cryptocurrency to work on all the platforms that Facebook owns.

It is believed that Facebook has already held talks with a number of cryptocurrency exchanges regarding the launch of its new currency, which could start trading by this summer.

Company CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has also spoken with a professor at Harvard Law school about the uncertainty surrounding the firm’s ambitious plans, with Zuckerberg struggling to figure a way to make this work.

One question that surrounds this currency is whether it will be decentralised, like would-be rival Bitcoin. Many industry experts have raised concerns about whether Facebook would actually release a coin that it has no control over.

Facebook is not the only tech company looking to launch a new cryptocurrency in the near future. Messaging platforms Signal and Telegram are also working on their own currencies and are believed to be more likely to launch more traditional-style crypto coins than Facebook because of their strong advocacies of privacy.

Telegram announced last month, through a letter to company investors that its cryptocurrency, to be called ‘GRAM’, is 90% complete.

Facebook still has many things to consider before deciding whether or not to launch its cryptocurrency, with one of the big talking points being whether or not the company can handle not being in control of it and it being censorship-resistant.

Alan Littler

Account Executive at Engage Web
Drawing from a broad pool of experience that ranges from university studies in English Language to his work as a medical receptionist in a busy GP practice, Alan fits right at home as Engage Web’s Account Executive.

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