In an effort to help WhatsApp users transfer money, Facebook is reportedly creating a digital currency. Unnamed sources told Bloomberg that the company is at work on a stablecoin, which is a cryptocurrency tied to the value of the U.S. dollar, and is reportedly eyeing India’s remittance market.
According to sources, the company isn’t yet close to making the coin available and is still developing its strategy, such as how to use custody assets to shield the stablecoin’s value. “Like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology," said a spokesperson for Facebook. "This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share."
Bloomberg noted that there were many ventures – over 120 of them – pursuing ideas in the stablecoin space. The aim of using this type of cryptocurrency is to create a more stable method of payment for day-to-day purchases. WhatsApp has over 200 million users in India – and, according to the World Bank, consumers sent $69 billion to the country last year.
The news comes as Facebook was looking to grow its blockchain team, according to a report earlier this month. The report noted that the social media company made a post on its careers page that it was seeking data scientists and engineers, software engineers and a product marketing lead for its blockchain-focused team.
According to the ad, "the blockchain team is a startup within Facebook, with a vision to make blockchain technology work at Facebook scale. We’re exploring lots of areas of interest across all facets of blockchain technology.”
Facebook already has about a dozen people working on blockchain and digital currency, it was previously reported. The team is led by former Facebook Messenger Head David Marcus, who was also previously a board member at Coinbase.