In 2018, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg hinted that his company was interested in exploring the possibility of embracing cryptocurrency as an option on its different platforms. Things have moved pretty fast since then with The New York Times reporting that the company is already working on introducing its own digital coin that will allow WhatsApp users to send money to friends—a PayPal and Venmo kind of thing, but this time cryptocurrency.
The move, according to NYT, Facebook, Telegram and Signal are planning their own digital coin in the next year. When launched, users will be able to send money to their contacts on their various platforms. Just like PayPal, users will be able to send money across borders on any of the three platforms.
Citing five people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter, the NYT described it as the “most anticipated but secretive project”—a project that will enable you send money coin to your friends and families instantly.
The project looks to have gone a long way; and as a matter of fact, Facebook has reportedly held meetings with cryptocurrency exchanges about the possibility of selling the Facebook coin to consumers.
“A lot of us got into technology because we believe it can be a decentralizing force that puts more power in people’s hands. (The first four words of Facebook’s mission have always been “give people the power”.) Back in the 1990s and 2000s, most people believed technology would be a decentralizing force,” Facebook founder Zuckerberg said in January 2018.
One of the ways to solve these problems according to Zuckerberg is to decentralize power—and cryptocurrency easily comes to mind:
“There are important counter-trends to this –like encryption and cryptocurrency — that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands. But they come with the risk of being harder to control. I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.”
The above statements carried so much weight, and it is now obvious that what the Facebook founder was talking about has to do with encouraging users to use digital coins on its platform.
In November 2017, Facebook announced that users of its messaging app Messenger, could start making P2P payment with PayPal. With PayPal’s presence already getting stronger on Facebook, this piece of news didn’t come to many of us as a surprise.
This certainly is not the last on this as we expect this piece of information from NYT to gather pace in the coming weeks.