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Facebook announces plans to launch cryptocurrency in 2020

Social networking behemoth Facebook has formally announced that it would like to launch its own cryptocurrency next year according to reports by the BBC.

Facebook which is headquartered in Menlo Park, California, is one of the world’s most powerful organizations and has amassed 2.3bn users globally. However, reports suggest that the social media giant has been in contact with both British and US financial regulators in relation to launching its cryptocurrency next year.

Facebook have entitled the project ‘Global-Coin’ and it would work with a new digital payments system in about a dozen countries, starting in the first quarter of 2020.

Previous reports had indicated that Facebook were looking at Blockchain technology in an effort to address the increasing privacy concerns amongst its vast user base. The BBC has also claimed that Facebook officials have already spoken to Bank of England governor Mark Carney and representatives in the US Treasury in a bid to flesh out its plans in greater detail.

Facebook's currency would be called stable-coin, a digital unit pegged to the dollar in contrast to more anarchic means of virtual payment such as bitcoin, according to earlier reporting by Bloomberg and the Wall Street Journal among others.

With more than two billion users across its platforms, which include WhatsApp and Instagram, Facebook could have the clout to take a cryptocurrency mainstream and emulate the likes of WeChat in China, where the US site is banned.

WeChat allows its users to chat, shop and play games without leaving its platform, generating more revenue by offering a one-stop portal.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously expressed his belief that e-commerce represented the next logical evolution of the company's advertising-based business model.

But such a step is likely to invite more intense regulatory scrutiny at a time when Facebook is already under a cloud for abuses of privacy and the spread of fake news. It’s role in the high-profile Cambridge Analytica scandal resulted in Zuckerberg being forced to testify in front of independent inquiries in the US and Europe.

In addition to this, Facebook said it had disabled 2.19 billion fake accounts in the first quarter of this year, nearly double the number of the three months prior.

But Zuckerberg has rejected the idea of breaking up the social media giant, saying that would hamper the fight against deceit and harmful online content.