Social media giant Facebook appears to be drawing closer to the launch of its own cryptocurrency – and may have spoken to the likes of Visa and Mastercard about its forthcoming token.
Per a report from the Wall Street Journal, unnamed “people familiar with the matter” have confirmed that Facebook is currently “recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants to help launch a cryptocurrency-based payments system.”
Facebook has even given its project a secretive codename – Project Libra – per the report.
The report’s authors added that its undisclosed sources had also made the following claims:
- Facebook wants to create a “checkout option that users could port around the internet”
- Users could be rewarded with “fractions of a token” for viewing ads
- Users may also be rewarded for their activity on Facebook
- Merchants would be able to “eliminate” transaction fees (currently up to 2-3% using credit cards online and other conventional forms of payment) by using the “Facebook Coin”
- Users may be able to buy goods directly from Facebook advertisers using the new “Facebook Coin”
- Among the companies Facebook has spoken to about its coin are Visa, Mastercard and payment processing company First Data
- Facebook wants e-commerce companies and app developers to accept its coin, and wants small investments from potential partners of this sort
Facebook declined to comment, referring to a previous statement that it “is exploring many different applications” of cryptocurrencies.
The new report also backs up a number of claims about the forthcoming token made by New York Times writer Nathaniel Popper last month.
Popper stated that Facebook was looking to launch a stablecoin, with a value pegged to “a basket of foreign currencies.”
The same journalist also stated that Facebook was looking for some USD 1 billion worth of investment from venture capital companies for its project, and earlier said the social media network had already spoken to exchanges about the possibility of listing its coin.
Facebook has been working behind-the-scenes on a range of blockchain-related projects ever since it created a specialized unit for the technology, advertising for a range of specialists, and making aqui-hire moves. However, the company has so far remained tight-lipped on the exact nature of its blockchain plans.