Facebook is making progress with plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, the Wall Street Journal reports. As the Journal adds in its story, this project can prove to be the “most mainstream application yet of cryptocurrency”. The initial plans include rewards for Facebook users who interact with ads or other features.
The newspaper, citing unidentified people familiar with the matter, says the social media giant is currently holding talks with financial firms and online merchants, such as Visa and MasterCard, as well as with First Data, another major provider of e-commerce and payment processing services, to “help launch payments platform”.
“Facebook is also talking to e-commerce companies and apps about accepting the coin, and would seek smaller financial investments from those partners,” it is said in the WSJ story.
The project, dubbed as “FB coin”, will be designed in such manner that it provides stability to the coin’s value, unlike the majority of other digital coins. Accordingly, Facebook is looking to avoid excess volatility by providing huge fiat backing.
Back in March Newconomy reported that Facebook, amongst others, is working to develop its own cryptocurrency for Whatsapp, its subsidiary. Initially, Facebook plans to allow instantaneous sending of coins to contacts on Whatsapp platform, which is estimated to have around 1.5 billion users worldwide.
The cryptocurrency project is run by the former president of PayPal, David Marcus, who joined Facebook a couple of years ago. Around 50 software engineers are currently working on the project, the New York Times reported back in March.
Two weeks later, British bank Barclays came out with an analysis that around $21 billion in revenues would be available to Facebook by 2020, provided that it manages to develop its own cryptocurrency.
“Merely establishing this revenue stream starts to change the story for Facebook shares in our view,” said Ross Sandler, internet analyst at Barclays.
There is no timeline placed on when Facebook would possibly come out with official plans in the context of cryptocurrency. The company only confirmed that it is “exploring many different applications for cryptocurrency technology”.