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Facebook reportedly wants to bring cryptocurrencies to WhatsApp

Facebook reportedly wants to bring cryptocurrencies to WhatsApp
[Photo: Kevin Grieve/Unsplash]

About a year ago it seemed like every company in crisis mode announced it was pivoting to the blockchain. Though the trend has passed, it seems Facebook–a company in perpetual crisis–has been formulating a similar move.

According to a new report from Bloomberg, which cites anonymous people familiar with the matter, Facebook has been looking into building what’s called a “stable coin.” It’s a cryptocurrency tied to official currency–in this case, the U.S. dollar–in the hopes of mitigating volatility. This coin would reportedly be introduced to WhatsApp, making it possible for users to exchange funds via the messaging system.

The supposed idea is to focus initially on India–a country where both WhatsApp and remittances are quite popular. Putting the two together would be a way for Facebook to enter the world of digital payments–which could also create some much-needed non-advertising revenue.

The company has been bulking up on blockchain talent, writes Bloomberg. David Marcus is now leading the initiative, and more than 40 people on LinkedIn have the buzzy word in their Facebook job title. The company gave this statement about the blockchain project to the news organization: “This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.”

Meanwhile, Facebook continues to get pummeled because of revelations about how the company mishandled user data. This news shows the company trying to plow forward. Still, the project is likely quite far off from seeing the light of day. And let’s hope the company’s digital payment ambitions don’t create a way to even further bungle user privacy and security.

You can read the full Bloomberg article here.

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