Earlier this year, Facebook revised its advertising policing, putting a ban on all cryptocurrency related ads. But it seems the social media giant itself is now getting into the crypto business. According to reports, Facebook could be developing its own stablecoins, a type of cryptocurrency.
Facebook is reportedly developing a money transfer system that uses a stablecoin - a form of blockchain-based cryptocurrency that is pegged to a particular unit of value, in this case, the US dollar. The system will be used for transfers via WhatsApp, focusing first on the remittances market in India. WhatsApp is already running a pilot program for mobile payments in India.
India is the largest country by the number of monthly active WhatsApp users, which crossed 200 million mark last year itself. The country also leads the world in remittances - people sent $69 billion home to India last year. And Facebook wants to take a cut using cryptocurrency.
Facebook's interest in crypto business first show up when it made some hires for a brand-new blockchain team earlier this year. The company also sent out job listings for some blockchain staff positions earlier this month. Nearly 40 Facebook staffs could be working on developing the tech to be used for WhatsApp money transfers. But it's not going to happen overnight.
"Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share", a company spokesperson said.
Facebook has had its share of security and privacy scandals. The relationship between Facebook and the Indian government isn't good either. Recently, the government blamed WhatsApp for an intense wave of mob violence in the country.
Despite that, Facebook wants India to be its initial market. If the people of India - and their government - have enough faith in the company remains to be seen.