The world’s largest social media company is gearing up to reveal its own cryptocurrency to the public later this month. Facebook aims to enable its users to transact via the popular messaging app, WhatsApp, and will reportedly offer its employees the option to be compensated in the form of the digital currency. While the name has yet to be officially revealed by Facebook, recent reports have indicated that the currency’s name will be GlobalCoin. According to BBC, the digital payments network will formally launch in “about a dozen countries by the first quarter of 2020,” and is planning to conduct trial transactions by the end of the year. Facebook’s goal is to create a global digital currency that offers a fast, secure and affordable method to make digital payments, regardless if users have a bank account or not. According to a report released by The Information on Wednesday, the social media giant plans to offer physical ATMs for Facebook users to purchase the company’s cryptocurrency and would ultimately have access to valuable transaction data after launching its own digital payment system.
Facebook’s leap into financial technology, or “FinTech”, is a long-anticipated venture since bringing David Marcus onboard in 2014 from PayPayl to oversee WhatsApp. Marcus was later appointed as Facebook’s Head of Blockchain Initiatives in May 2018.
The launch of GlobalCoin would certainly be one of the most significant events for the crypto industry. London School of Economics researcher, Garrick Hileman, conservatively estimates that approximately 30 million people around the world currently use cryptocurrency. Facebook meanwhile has about 2.4 billion monthly users.