Facebook is currently in talks with exchanges about a possible listing of a cryptocurrency, a report in “The New York Times” revealed. The world’s most popular social media channel is among the internet outfits like Telegram and Signal who are planning to launch new digital coins next year.
If successful, this proposal will allow users to send money or transact business to contacts on their messaging platforms. Facebook is currently working on a crypto project that will enable WhatsApp, a messaging platform owned by Facebook, to exchange currencies instantly, according to insiders who divulged the effort.
Recently, the social media giant has strengthened its blockchain team, through massive hiring of professionals in the field. The company is aiming to fill about 20 blockchain-related positions. The Times report also cited that more than 50 engineers oversee the company’s digital currency project.
Competitors of Facebook’s messaging platform worldwide are also working on launching their versions of digital coins such as Telegram and Signal in the U.S., as well as Japan’s Kakao and South Korea’s Line.
These new projects attempt to take part in the success of Venmo, the mobile payment service that PayPal owns, that has allowed payments by phone. The Chinese messaging system WeChat has also been allowing its consumers to make financial transactions using its application.
But analysts express their concerns that these messaging companies will likely face the regulatory and technological barriers which prevented Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies from going mainstream. The lack of central authority over digital coins is also a crucial issue.