Reports state that Facebook is creating a cryptocurrency that will be used by users of WhatsApp, according to Bloomberg. The new token has the purpose of being used for money transfers that are made within the WhatsApp app, with a clear focus on India remittances market.
Bloomberg stated that sources that were familiar with the new project were quoted. The report practically states that a new stablecoin is being developed. Sources claim that it will take a long time until the brand new coin will be released. Facebook works on a strategy that involves custody assets according to what the stablecoin is going to be tied to.
It needs to be mentioned that the remittances market in India is quite large. We are talking about $69 billion that were received in 2017 alone in remittances. This is almost 3% of the GDP of the country.
The popularity of WhatsApp is huge in the country of India, where there are 200 million users. Statistics show that rural India showed a doubling of users in the past year. At the same time, internet costs went down.
Facebook clearly shifted its official stance on cryptocurrency in the past year. We saw that in January 2018 there was a crypto ad ban that was put in place. The reason for this was officially mentioned as being the prevention of “ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices.”
During May of 2018 we saw Facebook’s head of the messaging app messenger, David Marcus, saying that there is a blockchain exploratory team that was being built within Facebook. This statement was made while Marcus was actively involved in Coinbase as an active board member.
David Marcus declared:
I’m setting up a small group to explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch.
The blanket ban by Facebook on crypto ads was repealed in the month of June. The only ban that remain was the one that was put on ICOs.
August saw Marcus stepping down from the board at Coinbase in order to stop potential mentions of conflicts of interest.