‘Facebook Coin’ To Launch In First Half of 2019: Report
Facebook’s blockchain team appears to have made tremendous progress on its crypto project in the days following a Bloomberg report that the social media giant was developing a dollar-pegged stablecoin for use on its WhatsApp platform.
Development on the cryptocurrency seems to have reached the release stage as another report suggests that millions of users could soon see the token listed on crypto exchanges around the world.
According to a New York Times article published on Thursday, February 28, Facebook has been talking to a number of bitcoin exchanges with the aim of listing its WhatsApp-focused cryptocurrency.
The Facebook story in the New York Times is part of a wider story about the efforts by leading messaging platforms to launch native cryptocurrencies.
These include efforts by Signal (an encrypted communications app available on mobile and desktop) and Telegram (also encrypted and instant messaging platform behind the Telegram Open Network (TON)).
These firms have reportedly made great strides and could launch their digital tokens and blockchain projects within the year.
As for Facebook, the report cites “four people briefed on the negotiations,” as saying that the social network platform had held consultations with exchanges, with the message being that Facebook expects to roll out its coin in the first six months of 2019.
Among the top social networking and messaging platforms, the launch of the WhatsApp coin could rank as the largest.
Integrating the token directly into WhatsApp would make it accessible to the platform’s monthly active user base of 1.5 billion, according to December 2017figures.
However, given that Facebook is working on plans to have the back-end systems of its WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger apps united, the coin could be accessible to nearly 2.7 billion users across these platforms.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency is a stablecoin that will be pegged on the US dollar and will provide an easy and much cheaper way for users to transfer funds across international borders.
The report that the Menlo Park-based company is preparing to launch the token comes only weeks after its CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that his company was open to using blockchain technology to revamp its data-sharing and identity systems.
Although Facebook has kept a tight lid on the stablecoin project, the company’s blockchain division has expanded significantly in recent months. The platform’s expansion efforts have already seen it acquire U.K.-based smart contract development startup Chainspace.
The Chainspace acquisition saw Facebook’s blockchain engineering team expand to over 50, led by former Paypal executive David Marcus. Marcus, who also sat on U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase’s board of directors, was the head of Facebook’s Messenger app.
In addition to the dedicated team of 50 engineers, the company is reportedly seeking a further to hire 20 more people to fill blockchain-related positions.
Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.