Facebook will expand its global reach and expand into the cryptocurrency market, according to reports. The cryptocurrency will be called Libra, and those who are working on the project can choose to receive payment in the digital currency. Some reports indicate Facebook will launch the currency globally sometime next year.
Reports also suggest Facebook will target “developing countries” with currencies backed by their governments. As of now, the digital currency will only be used for Facebook products such as Messenger and WhatsApp. However, sources say the company will establish terminals similar to ATMs in the not too distance future. Merchants who accept the cryptocurrency as payment will receive a sign-up bonus.
It is no secret that Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook would like to expand into the e-commerce solutions market. At the F8 developer conference held by the company, Facebook announced some shopping features it plans to roll out.
For example, Facebook will not allow users to buy directly from influencers on Instagram. Facebook will also loosen its guidelines on company’s putting catalogs on their WhatsApp pages. Additionally, sellers on the Facebook Marketplace can now use the Facebook app to ship products. A checkout feature will be added to Instagram in March of 2019.
Facebook has nearly 2.3 billion users and if it does take its cryptocurrency global, it would have the largest digital currency base in the world. Facebook is in talks with foreign governments to get the okay to use the cryptocurrency. Reports also indicate the company will adopt strict identity verification measures once the currency goes live.
Reports state that the cryptocurrency is on the top of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s priority list. Recently, Zuckerberg hired a team from a well-known blockchain startup, Chainspace, although Chainspace’s CEO, Dave Hrycyszyn, resigned after a month on the job.Reports show that last May Facebook formed a technology-based financial company known as Libra Networks.
However, several reports state that some of Facebook’s executive team are not too happy with the company’s entry into the digital currency market. Sources close to the matter state that David Wehner, chief financial officer, and Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer who have expressed doubts over the venture.
Some news organizations have reported Facebook could launch the digital currency as early as the first quarter of 2020. Sources close to the matter said Facebook will start testing the currency towards the end of 2019 and will release more information later in the summer.