Facebook has been reported to be working on its own cryptocurrency since a while, and now a new report suggests that it should be launched as soon as next year. The company plans to setup a digital payment system in more than 12 countries by the first quarter of 2020, and it looks to start testing in the later part of 2019. The company is said to be internally calling the cryptocurrency GlobalCoin, and it should outline more details this summer.
BBC reports that Facebook has already sought advice on operational and regulatory issues from officials at the US Treasury, and has even spoken to Bank of England governor Mark Carney regarding the opportunities and risks involved in launching the cryptocurrency. It is also speaking with money transfer firms like Western Union to understand if there are any cheaper and faster ways to transfer and receive money without a bank account.
The report states that Facebook wants to create a digital currency that provides affordable and secure ways of making payments, without the need of a bank account. It looks to join forces with banks and brokers to enable people to change dollars and international currencies into its digital coins. To that effect, it is expected to launch a Swiss-based association made up of a small group of co-founders in the coming weeks. Facebook is also in discussion with online merchants to accept their currency as payment.
The real deal breaker in the success of this project will be the company's efforts in ensuring consumer data safety, and building a secure ecosystem for money transfer. It needs to also tackle various issues like money laundering, and given the company's current controversies regarding user privacy, these measures will be imperative. The report states that Facebook and its partners want to prevent wild swings in the coin's value, and look to peg it to a basket of established currencies, including the US dollar, euro and Japanese yen. Furthermore, if it looks to launch in India as past reports suggest, it will have to navigate through a series of regulations.