Reportedly, Facebook is developing a stablecoin for transfer money through WhatsApp in India. According to Bloomberg sourcing from people familiar with the matter, the company is still in the strategy planning phase.
The social media giant has shown intention to expand into financial services since hiring ex PayPal president David Marcus, now in charge of Messenger app and blockchain initiative. Regarding this new development, Facebook spokesperson said: “like many other companies, Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology, a new small team is exploring many different application.” There are namely about 40 employees newly hired to be on the team.
Although the Facebook blockchain initiative has been widely known, and Mark Zuckerberg showed interests in encryption and blockchain through his 2017 New Year’s resolution, little detail is disclosed on the WhatsApp’s financial transaction function. Zuckerberg’s cautious choice of creating a stablecoin instead of a regular type of cryptocurrency represents many leading technology companies’ attitude toward digital currency – better to be safe than sorry.
Stablecoin pegged to fiat money or gold, is known for its “stability” compare to the volatile characteristic of general cryptocurrency, especially observed this year. However, there are bitcoin investors remain skeptical about stablecoin calling it a scandal, while others think it as the future for cryptocurrency. During a sharing session at Mars Finance Global Community on December 5, the famous investor Jeffrey Wernick expressed his view on stablecoin, saying: “stablecoin backed by fiat is anti-bitcoin” and that “it is only regulatory arbitrage.”
There are over 200 million WhatsApp users in India. Being one of the biggest remittance markets in the world, total overseas remittances into India was around $69 billion in 2017 and expected of over $80 billion in 2018. Therefore, the cryptocurrency payment development in India might prove to be huge, while the country being one of the fastest growing crypto markets in Asia despite government tightening control and regulation.