Reports from NYT Suggest that Facebook in Talks with Multiple Exchanges for “Facebook Coin”
Facebook has been somehow both largely public and intensely private about their journey into blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Though denying in statements that they have any kind of involvement, job postings online imply that they are creating a team that is centered around blockchain development. In the New York Times (NYT), an article was published today that claims that Facebook is “hoping to succeed where Bitcoin failed” in an ultra-secretive crypto project.
Rich with five anonymous sources, which only gave this information with the promise of concealing their identities, NYT states that the company’s focus is on a coin that can be used on WhatsApp. The concept is that the coin would be used as a method to send funds instantly to connected users. At this point, the project has allegedly made enough progress then there’s already talks with crypto exchanges to list and sell the coin, according to four sources who were privy to ongoing negotiations.
The article went on to describe another social media empire with intentions of entering the market with a digital coin – Telegram. An encrypted messaging service called Signal, which has seen some notoriety between “technologists and privacy advocates,” is working on a coin, just like Kakao and Line.
At this point, much like Facebook’s PR side, all of the companies that have coin projects in the works are staying silent. Describing the work, NYT writes:
“Most of them appear to be working on digital coins that could exist on a decentralized network of computers, independent to some degree of the companies that created them.”
Bringing in new cryptocurrencies would make it easier for everyday people to control and send their money, especially in places where the majority of people are unbanked. Some of the difficulty with these launches within the crypto community has been due to changing regulations, and messaging companies are about to jump into the same problems that other projects keep coming against.
Without a central control for crypto, which is basically the point of having the industry in the first place, criminals and scammers have gravitated towards it as a fast way to move funds. Computer networks, as they are slammed with volume, struggle to maintain the same scalability that keeps transactions expedient. Richard Ma, the chief executive of security auditing firm Quantstamp, said:
“They are all going to run up against these same types of technological limits.
Working to prevent these types of roadblocks, Facebook allegedly has over 50 engineers with their hands on the crypto project, and we have been consistently reporting on new job listings for it. David Markus, the former president of PayPal, has been essentially running this effort from Facebook, which started last year after Telegram managed to gain $1.7 billion for their own crypto project.
Even with these anonymous links, Facebook has still been carefully concealing what the new project will bring. NYT adds:
“The team is in an office with separate key-card access so other Facebook employees cannot get in, according to two Facebook employees.”
The anonymous sources have indicated that the goal of Facebook is to launch their product before mid-2019.