According to Bloomberg, Facebook has built a team specializing in blockchain technology to work on a stablecoin for launch this year.
Known as Project Libra, it has been in the works since 2018 and the team has swollen to 50 people. 20% of the team involved previously worked for Paypal. Bloomberg reports that Facebook has declined to comment on the project and the entire thing is highly confidential.
To add to speculation, “Libra” – the name for the project, is a trademark that has recently been acquired by Facebook. It is no coincidence with the talk of this leaking to the press, that Facebook has walked back on its ban from last year of advertisers who work within the industry so long as they are news sources and similar – in order perhaps to maximize the share-ability of their launch news without appearing hypocritical.
The purpose of such a stablecoin would be to limit price volatility using inbuilt blockchain mechanisms – perhaps an indication that the coin might be used for advertising payments and to speed up transaction processes in messenger from user to user. Facebook is allegedly planning to test launch in India perhaps due to the country’s notoriety for vast alt coins – despite the amount of coin scam offerings that have led the country to consider an outright ban on the industry. Another possibility is for the coins interpersonal use in WhatsApp – something that is known to be in the works is a WhatsApp payment system, off the back of China’s famous ‘WeChat’ application which is known to be the best and most feature rich platform on the market, albeit not particularly popular in the west outside Chinese expats. Recently Mark Zuckerberg said that private commerce and money transfers are “a part of the vision that I’m particularly excited about.”
Former president of PayPal David Marcus has been hired by Facebook to lead the team; other notable hires include Christina Smedley, famed for communications for Paypal who previously worked alongside David Marcus at PayPal and later worked at Amazon and PR company Edelman. Visa and MasterCard have been approached by Facebook for $1 billion in financing for the project according to the Wall Street Journal.
The success of this project could lead to a renaissance in the currencies market as many coins have recently had life breathed back into them with the current pump.