Some Facebook users have noticed a new option in the app that invites them to “Pay with Facebook” along with a Bitcoin kind of icon. This fuels speculations that the social media giant is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency.
The new payment option, according to an Italian tech site Mobile World, per Android Police, appeared on both the iOS and the Android apps of Facebook in Italy. This appears to be an “Italian affair” only as no other user outside the European country has reported seeing the new payment button as at the time of writing this.
The new payment button works the same way with what we have on Facebook Marketplace where buyers are allowed to send payment request and then wait to be accepted. There are talks pointing towards the use of a brand-new currency, which we suspect to be Facebook Coin.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had hinted in 2018 that his company was interested in exploring the possibility of embracing cryptocurrency as an option on its different platforms. The New York Times reported a fortnight ago that the company is already working to introduce 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.
“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 Facebook founder said back in 2018
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.
Earlier in 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.