Facebook truly likes financial services. It entered Nigerian financial sector when some banks launched Facebook Messenger banking with MasterCard. Now, it is taking it to the next level: stablecoin on WhatsApp for remittance services.
Facebook Inc. is working on making a cryptocurrency that will let users transfer money on its WhatsApp messaging app, focusing first on the remittances market in India, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company is developing a stablecoin — a type of digital currency pegged to the U.S. dollar — to minimize volatility, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal plans. Facebook is far from releasing the coin, because it’s still working on the strategy, including a plan for custody assets, or regular currencies that would be held to protect the value of the stablecoin, the people said.
It is possible very soon we will see a crypto linked to the Nigerian Naira for Facebook users in Nigeria. How? It is simple: if Facebook can make one linked to US dollars, it can easily translate that to the Naira. Possibly, Facebook would emerge as the operating system for consumer blockchain ecosystem for the next Internet. Facebook has the scale to make any coin an immediate winner in the world.
If the U.S. giant does carry out the plan that Bloomberg is reporting it would (easily) be the largest company to embrace consumer blockchain service. That’s both in terms of the size of the business — a $376 billion market cap and annual revenue of more than $40 billion — and the user base it touches. Facebook reaches more than 2.2 billion people for its core social network, 1.5 billion for WhatsApp, 1.3 billion for Messenger and a further one billion via Instagram.
It is looking increasingly clear that one of the ICT utilities would build the unified African currency which can work in any African economy with capabilities to remove the limitations of distance and geography.
Reinvention of Money
Facebook is going to change money for its continent with at least 2 billion citizens: it is hiring blockchain experts and M&A professionals who can do deals in that space. Yes, Facebook may simply have to buy some companies to move this redesign faster.
Facebook’s small blockchain group has ambitious plans to potentially disrupt the entire payments industry, but the company is also running into recruiting challenges amid its many public scandals.
In recent months, the world’s largest social network has been quietly trying to recruit product managers, engineers, academics, and legal experts with experience in cryptocurrencies and payments, according to people familiar with the effort. Nearly 40 employees — including several former PayPal execs — work in Facebook’s ($FB) secretive blockchain group, and the company recently appointed a head of business development to oversee acquisitions and deals in the space.
Since officially forming its blockchain group just eight months ago, Facebook has sent staffers to crypto conferences around the world to recruit researchers, cryptographers, and top academics in the field. At a private dinner Facebook hosted during a recent crypto conference, one attendee told Cheddar that Facebook employees pitched the idea of creating a decentralized digital currency for the social network’s 2 billion users.