Little by little we are finding out more about Facebook’s proposed entry into the crypto market. Although Facebook hasn’t said much beyond acknowledging it has a blockchain department, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) managed to discover that it is in talks with Visa and Mastercard to raise a $1 billion for its crypto project, which reportedly entails a stablecoin alongside a crypto-powered online payments system.
At the end of 2018, Bloomberg reported, “the social media company is making a cryptocurrency for users of the messaging service WhatsApp, which Facebook acquired for $19 billion back in 2014. According to the report, the Facebook token “ will allegedly allow users to make money transfers within the messaging app and will focus on the remittances market in India” where WhatsApp has around 200 million users. Furthermore, India received nearly $69 billion in foreign remittances in 2017, the World Bank reports, making the country a gold mine for a payments processing company.
Bloomberg’s sources also said that Facebook is developing a stablecoin, but said that the social media outlet was still figuring out which asset their token will be tied to.
Then in February 2019, the New York Times wrote that Facebook’s “hoping to succeed where Bitcoin failed.” Its report asserts Facebook plans to rebuild its messaging infrastructure and merge its three wholly owned apps -WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger — on one platform. This would effectively provide its crypto token with exposure to the 2.7 billion people who use the three services each month.
Now there is a new Wall Street Journal story revealing more details of Facebook’s plans. The story mentions that the crypto project is codenamed “Libra Project,” and that Facebook has recently acquired the rights to the “Libra” trademark. Furthermore, the WSJ argues that Facebook is planning to launch a cryptocurrency-based in-house payments system, and is in talks with financial firms, applications and e-commerce merchants. It has apparently approached the WSJ to offer its token as a way to conduct online payments, as well as to seek financial investment.
The WSJ suggests Facebook “aims to burrow more deeply into the lives of its users” with the new system and that the in-house payments might be performed via a user’s Facebook profile. It might also start paying its users with Facebook Coin for viewing ads, shopping on Facebook or interacting with other content, a format used by Brave browser and its Basic Attention Token.
For more news about Facebook’s plans, Cointelegraph has all the details.