Facebook ponders launch of cryptocurrency

Facebook ponders launch of cryptocurrency

Social media company Facebook is considering launching a cryptocurrency for users of its WhatsApp service.

The news, first reported by Business Insider, is that Facebook is seeking to create a cryptocurrency that would have a value linked to the dollar, and be more stable than other cryptocurrencies, the best known of which is Bitcoin, which has suffered a decline in value of around 80 per cent this year.

Facebook created a blockchain department within the company in 2018.

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The initial target market for the new product would be Indian migrants wishing to send money home.

FTAdviser has contacted Facebook for a comment. A spokesman for the company said they would investigate whether there is anything they can add to our story.

Alex El-Nemer, of cryptocurrency enterprise Nexus, said: "Cryptocurrency is already recognised as a digital alternative used by millions for the safe and secure transfer of funds online, so enabling it to be used on platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp is the next logical step in its progression.

"This would provide users with ability to purchase products, goods and services at the touch of the button, including making charitable donations and supporting good causes.

"Forward-thinking industries and organisations should acknowledge this as the beginning of a new era for alternate digital currencies, and plan ahead to integrate services for the inevitable mass use and adoption which will follow."

David Scott, an adviser at Andrews Gwynne in Leeds, and a long time sceptic of the investment case for cryptocurrencies, described the idea of a new cryptocurrency from Facebook as something he would never invest in and as "rat poison squared."