Some of the biggest internet companies, such as Facebook, Telegram and Signal, are planning to roll out new cryptocurrencies later this year, the New York Times reports.
Facebook is working on a secret project to develop the new coin for its daughter company, Whatsapp, which reportedly had around 1.5 billion users in 2018. The plan is to allow instantaneous sending of coins to contacts on the platform.
As Bloomberg reported back in December, the first product would be a stable coin — a type of a digital currency pegged to the U.S. dollar.
The digital coins will be used to enable users to send money to their contacts on messaging platforms. As these platforms connect users across the globe, the coins would ultimately be used as a means of cross-border financial transactions.
“It’s pretty much the most fascinating thing happening in crypto right now. They each have their own advantage in this battle, and it will be insane to watch it go down,” said Eric Meltzer, the co-founder of venture capital firm, Primitive Ventures.
Multiple sources have confirmed to NYT that the plans are currently at an advanced stage as the world’s biggest social network is already pitching the coin to some crypto exchanges. It is understood that around 50 Facebook engineers are working on the project, which is being run by the former president of PayPal, David Marcus.
Three months ago, the Block analyzed Facebook’s careers site over a certain period of time and they concluded that the social media giant has significantly increased its efforts to hire blockchain-oriented talent.
On the other hand, it is expected that all companies which plan on issuing their own cryptocurrency will hit the same problems which faced the other cryptocurrency start-ups – the lack of central authority over cryptocurrencies.
“They are all going to run up against these same types of technological limits,” said Richard Ma, the CEO of Quantstamp, a firm which develops smart contract security infrastructure.
Telegram, a messaging app that hosts around 300 million users worldwide, is also working on its own coin. Similarly, Signal, another messaging platform which is a favorite among privacy-focused users, has joined the race as well, as it is the case with the biggest messaging applications in South Korea and Japan – Kakao, and Line.