Facebook Inc. plans to develop a stablecoin cryptocurrency to facilitate money transfers via the company’s WhatsApp messaging app, according to a Friday report from Bloomberg that cited people familiar with the matter. Those sources have reportedly said that Facebook intends to first introduce the currency in the Indian remittances market, where the app enjoys tremendous popularity:
WhatsApp, the company’s encrypted mobile-messaging app, is popular in India, with more than 200 million users. The country also leads the world in remittances -- people sent $69 billion home to India in 2017, the World Bank said this year.
According to Bloomberg’s sources, the company’s planning is in the early stages. Facebook is reportedly also developing a strategy to manage the custody assets needed to support any stablecoin’s value.
Facebook neither confirmed nor denied the report. In a statement, the company said:
"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."