Facebook is reportedly finalising plans to launch its own cryptocurrency, dubbed GlobalCoin, sometime next year. Initially, GlobalCoin will launch in around 12 countries in the first quarter before coming to other markets later. Before the firm launches its product, it plans to test the asset by the end of this year.
With GlobalCoin, Facebook hopes that it can make sending money both affordable and secure. Additionally, it’s working with firms like Western Union in order to connect even those people that do not have a bank account. Facebook has already spoken to the U.S. Treasury in order to work out the process of ID checks in order to restrict money laundering and Mark Zuckerberg also met Bank of England governor Mark Carney to discuss the opportunities and risks involved in setting up a cryptocurrency.
One of the biggest criticisms of cryptocurrencies that most people have is their tendency to fluctuate in value. In an attempt to stop this, Facebook is allegedly looking at pegging the cryptocurrency to other established currencies such as the U.S. dollar, the euro, and the Japanese yen.
Facebook first set up a team to work out how to leverage blockchain technology more than a year ago. Then, in December, it was reported that the company could be developing a cryptocurrency for money transfers on WhatsApp. By the time Facebook is ready to launch its product it will probably work across all of Facebook’s services from the get-go, after all, in January, it was revealed that Mark Zuckerberg wants to unify the messaging infrastructure of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram; the chat environment will be one of the logical places to add a payment button when the service rolls out.
With money being as critical as it is to people’s lives, the calls for the break-up and regulation for the company will likely grow. It’ll also be interesting to see whether people end up trusting Facebook with their money given all the scandals that the firm has suffered.
Source: BBC News