A media report last week said that Facebook is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency, likely to be named GlobalCoin, as early as next year. The currency would initially be launched in just around a dozen countries and Facebook may start testing it by the end of this year. Here are 10 interesting things you should know about Facebook’s new digital payment system:
1) Facebook’s GlobalCoin is different from most other digital payments systems as consumers would likely be able to use the currency even if they don’t have a bank account, according to reports.
2) The currency would enable Facebook users to change dollars and other international currencies directly into its digital coins.
3) The GlobalCoin could then be used to buy things on the Internet and in other outlets, or even to transfer money to another user.
4) The possibility of money being sent through Whatsapp may become a reality soon with Facebook’s GlobalCoin. A news report last year had said that Facebook is working on a digital currency project that will allow users to transfer the cryptocurrency using mobile-messaging app WhatsApp. Even during Facebook’s developer conference last month, Mark Zuckerberg had said: “I believe it should be as easy to send money to someone as it is to send a photo.”
5) Facebook also has plans at paying users fractions of a coin for activities such as viewing ads and interacting with content related to online shopping, similar to loyalty schemes run by retailers.
6) Facebook is also reportedly in talks with a number of online merchants to accept the currency as payment in return for lower transaction fees.
7) Reports say Facebook is looking to peg GlobalCoin’s value to a basket of established currencies, including the US dollar, the euro and the Japanese yen, to stabilize the value of the digital currency.
8) Facebook is looking for $1 billion in funding to support the project, and has held talks with payments giants including Visa and Mastercard, according to reports.
9) Facebook has reportedly discussed with the US Treasury the process of identity checks and how to reduce money laundering risks.
10) A Barclays Internet analyst had said in March that the cryptocurrency could contribute as much as a whopping $19 billion in additional revenue to Facebook by 2021.